The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sub-regional office in Kono has sensitized stakeholders and residents of Ngo Town and Walehun communities in the Nimiyama Chiefdom on the evils of corruption that continue to undermine various development projects in their respective communities. The events, which took place on the 9th and 10thof November, 2021, were in response to the Commission’s relentless drive to raise awareness on the disturbing effects of corruption and to solicit support for the anti-corruption campaign.
ACC Public Education Officer Hawa Deen Conteh said the ACC team was in the communities to raise awareness on corruption prospects and occurrences and to further empower them to report every instance of corruption to the Commission. She told the participants that the fight against corruption will be only successful if every patriotic Sierra Leonean rejects, resists and reports such acts to the ACC. She therefore advised everyone to be vigilant in monitoring all public and donor projects in their communities to enhance quality service delivery.
Senior Investigation Officer of the ACC Alpha G. Koroma, in his statement, referred to corruption as a national emergency that every Sierra Leone must fight against. In this regard, he said the Commission has facilitated the strengthening of the country’s laws by increasing the offences and making the fines and penalties stiffer. “The fact that indicted persons can also be tried in absentia is another significant milestone in the fight against corruption,” he said. He concluded by warning the attendees against acts of embezzlement, misappropriation of community and project funds and other resources, bribery, among others.
With regards to the monumental achievements of the Commission in cash and other physical assets under the leadership of Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq, the ACC Public Education Officer Sam P. Gogra reminded the audience about the recovery of over Thirty Billion Leones, vehicles and a hotel in Koidu City that have been handed over to the State. He also made mention of the high rate of conviction and prosecution of cases charged to court which is an indication of the Commission’s determination to win the fight against graft.
Mr. Gogra therefore encouraged everyone to call the toll free lines of 515, 077-985985, 077-986986 to report corruption incidences to the Commission.
While welcoming the ACC team earlier, a community teacher at Ngo Town Alie James Kanneh applauded the Commission for such a drive, stating his people have suffered a lot in the hands of service providers as they have not been consulted or involved in the implementation of various development projects in their community. He said such interactive engagement will serve as an eye-opener to his people to be aware of the various forms of corruption in their locality.
Town Chief of Walehun Foday Thorlley expressed appreciation for the sensitization and the leadership of the Commission for the gains made in the past there years. “Anyone who does not wish the war against corruption to be won is an enemy of the state as our true enemy is corruption which we must unite to fight,” he concluded.