The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues its sustained efforts in preventing and controlling corruption within the public sector of the country in the bid to deliver quality service to the citizenry. As such, on 21st March 2023, the Public Education and Outreach Unit of the Commission’s office in the Northern Region held a customized meeting with personnel of the Sierra Leone Police Force in Masingbi, Tonkolili District.
In his keynote statement, Abdul Karim Bangura, Senior Public Education Officer, thanked the police officers for their sense of duty and extolled the long, fruitful partnership between the SLP and the ACC. He assured them of the Commission’s dogged stance on cleaning up public sector corruption, a mandate that demands the unwavering support of every tier of the public.
According to Bangura, the ACC extensively and regularly educates and informs the public about the ills of corruption and the gains of its elimination referring to Section 7 Sub-section (2) of the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act as amended in 2019. Engagement with public bodies across the country is also a part of the Commission’s prevention toolbox, he added. The meeting was intended to empower the police officers to resist and reject unacceptable conducts while protecting life and property.
Mr. Bangura furthered that, paramount to selfless public service delivery is integrity, which he described as a solid shield against corruption and urged the police officers to strive to uphold foremost the ethics of their job, in order to avoid conflict with the anti-corruption laws and to gain public trust and confidence. He called on his audience to support the ACC in its campaign to rid the country of corruption saying ‘it is important to note that the Commission needs the support of all public institutions to achieve a truly corruption-free country we all can be proud of.’
In his contribution, ACC’s Prevention Officer, Lathiff Sesay, informed the police officers that corruption does not only scuttles development efforts but also eclipses the future of a country. He urged them to work hard in order to forestall malfeasance in the two areas – Kunike Sanda and Kunike Fulawusu Chiefdoms–which are their operational areas. Lathiff encouraged the Officer-in-Charge in particular, to be the pace-setter to resist corruption, for the other officers to follow suit promising the Commission’s readiness to support the police officers when needed.
He informed the officers that the Commission has a Prevention Department with the primary responsibility to formulate policies and review systems and processes in MDAs; to identify corruption vulnerabilities, proffer best practice guides, and monitor compliance by MDAs, as stipulated in Section 7 Subsection (2) of the country’s Anti-Corruption Act. ‘The work of the Prevention Department therefore, essentially supports MDAs to work more efficiently and effectively, making the ACC a value-promoting institution’, Mr. Sesay affirmed.
Responding to the anti-graft messages, the Officer Commanding (OC), Masingbi Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Momoh Dumbuya, thanked the ACC officers for the engagement which he referred to as ‘a reminder to duty’. He condemned corruption, describing it as a major reason for the country’s underdevelopment, while entreating his colleagues to be on guard against misconduct in their service to the public.
The meeting ended with the OC receiving IEC materials from the Senior Public Education Officer of the ACC team.