ACC SIGNS MOU WITH ADVOCAID
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with AdvocAid Sierra Leone Limited at the Conference Room of the Commission’s 3 Gloucester Street Head Office in Freetown.
Welcoming the delegation from AdvocAid, the Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Shollay Davies, said it is good that many institutions have come to realise that the fight against corruption is not the work of the ACC alone. He described the anti-graft campaign as a fight that should be for all and in the interest of the country.
The Programme Manager of AdvocaAid Sierra Leone Limited, Sonia Osho-Williams, said since her organisation was established in 2006, they have been providing legal assistance to women and girls who come into conflict with the law. She said they are also engaged in advocacy for policy and legislative reforms in the judiciary especially those areas related to human rights. Miss Osho-Williams also said they have also helped tackle a lot of corruption-related issues in their dealings with the justice system, citing their interventions when suspects are sometimes denied bail for failing to pay a bribe to the police. She said they have launched a ‘Bail Free Campaign’ which complements the ACC’s ‘Pay no Bribe Campaign’.
The Commissioner of the ACC, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, said corruption in the justice system is one which needed to be tackled if the country is to provide justice for all its citizens irrespective of social status. He said bribery is a national concern and the Commission has been working vigorously to tackle it particularly after the release of the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer Report by Transparency International which ranked Sierra Leone as one of the most common places for bribery. The Commissioner said bail has become a thorny issue in the administration of justice which is why the Commission is happy to sign an MOU with AdvocAid which has been working to address corruption-related issues to bail.
The MOU, among other things, aims to accelerate good governance and the promotion of the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone and curb corruption in the country’s criminal justice system by ensuring mutual cooperation and information sharing between the two organisations.
The event was climaxed by the signing of the MOU by the Commissioner of the ACC and the Programme Manager of AdvocAid after the reading of the citation of the document by the Public Relations Officer of the ACC, Alhassan Kargbo.