By: Paul A. Conteh
After President Bio granted the approval for Barrister Kaifala to pursue further studies at Harvard, citizens expressed uncertainty about the future of the war on corruption. The momentum the fight has gained over the years is mostly attributed to the patriotic leadership of the charismatic lawyer and human rights activist. There were fears this momentum might subside due to his academic absence.
However, Section 5(3) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008, as Amended in 2019, allayed these fears and brought in the Deputy. Within the ranks of the Anti-Corruption Commission, staff were unfazed with some of these legitimate fears. To start with, even though the Czar has a massive public profile, he developed the capacity of the Commission to function as a well-structured Government agency. Furthermore, he challenged and empowered the management team to strive for excellence in public service. And finally, he created the enabling environment for the Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday-Ngobie.
Mr. Foday-Ngobie is an anti-corruption master, mentor to many young people and mythical figure in mainstream Sierra Leone. Prior to joining the Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. Foday-Ngobie served the Sierra Leone Police for thirteen years. He started-off in 1990 as a Police Constable. In 1995, he was made Detective and Police Constable of the Criminal Investigation Department.
Later promoted to Commanding Officer, Economic Crimes Syndicate, of the same Department. Due to his hard work, Mr. Foday-Ngobie ascended to the rank of Deputy Head, Inspectorate and Compliance Division. Before he closed his tenure in the Force, he enrolled and completed a Bachelor of Science in Education (Economics Major) from Njala University College. This was between 1994 – 1999.
He was among the first batch of staff recruited to the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2003. His first position was Investigative Officer attached to the head office. He served in this position for two-years. In 2005, he was subsequently promoted to Senior Investigation Officer, a position he occupied for over a decade. Whilst in the Commission, he worked as Public Education Officer and also served as District Coordinator in Koinadugu and Bombali (Makeni) respectively. In between this period as Senior Investigative Officer, Mr. Foday-Ngobie returned to Njala and armed himself with an MBA in Human Resource Management. 2016 was a huge year for this anti-corruption crusader. He became the Manager, Exhibit Management and Rapid Response Team, of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Despite his responsibilities at the Commission, Mr. Foday-Ngobie created time to teach and mentor the next set of change-makers by accepting a part-time lecturing job at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK). From late 2018 right through early 2019, Mr. Foday-Ngobie was Deputy Director of Investigations at the Anti-Corruption Commissioner.
After years of dedicated service to the Government of Sierra Leone through the Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr. Foday-Ngobie was appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2019. This veteran public servant is considered an anti-corruption master, a mentor to several young people and a mythical figure in mainstream Sierra Leone.
The story of Mr. Foday-Ngobie justifies why he is where he is today. His professional experience, academic credentials and patriotic mindset makes him the right man to hold the mantle during this period. He is poised to continue winning the war on corruption.