By: Alex A. Bah, Public Relations Assistant, ACC
At the presentation of the Annual Report of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), for the preceding year–2022, at State House, on Friday 11th August 2023, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio said that the democratic war which he declared on Corruption, is _"a fight that we must win"_as a nation.
Making his statement after receiving a copy of the Report in addition to the 10 Billion (Old) Leones Cheque, President Bio noted that Sierra Leone was prior to 2018, known as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
This was so because corruption was much obvious and left clearly unchecked, with corrupt individuals sadly celebrated, he added.
He furthered that such sickening narrative has been dramatically changed over the course of the past five years, and it equally reflects on the admiration and approbation he receives when he is out of the country. “I am immensely proud of the institution”, the President underscored, whilst maintaining that we can only but re-commit ourselves to consolidate the many gains made, as Corruption is one of the most difficult things to tackle.
The President thanked the Commissioner for the leadership and Cohesion at the ACC and therefore urged him to "toughen the spine" as he is poised to make corruption unfashionable.
President Bio also stated that he wants to make sure that this legacy will be etched in the annals of history of the institution and country, as Sierra Leoneans that changed the narrative.
The ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. in his statement thanked the President for making a commitment and providing the required amplitude and support as a manifestation of his firm Presidential and Political Will to the fight against corruption. This support he emphasized is what amazes his anti-graft counterparts in other countries that are always impressed about Sierra Leone’s unprecedented successes in its efforts to tackle corruption.
Commissioner Kaifala, however, noted that the fight against corruption has to have tangible results and the cheque of 10 Billion (Old) Leones_ is one of such results.
He noted that the cheque only constitutes monies recovered from corrupt people or acts, and does not include assets and other properties.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday Ngobie in his welcome statement congratulated the President on his re-election and the renewed mandate by the people of Sierra Leone, and disclosed that the presentation of the Annual Report is in compliance with Section 19(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019.
He added that the Commission in 2022 demonstrated effective leadership, and the presentation of 10 Billion (Old) Leones is a clear testament of that.
The Deputy Commissioner further noted that the country excelled unimaginably in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard, Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) among others.
The Press Secretary, Solomon Jamiru Esq., who directed the affairs of the ceremony, also re-echoed the landmark achievements made in the fight against corruption under the Presidency of Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio and Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. as Head of the ACC.
The auspicious ceremony was climaxed with the presentation of the Cheque and the 2022 Annual Report.
©️ Public Relations Unit, ACC