October 2019 Issue 8 Volume 31 1
12. Published by the Anti - Corruption Commission Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Tel. No: 223645 Website: firstname.lastname@example.org Bo Office Address: 10 Bo Pujehun Drive, Kebbie Town Email: email@example.com Makeni Office Address: Mena Hill Reservation, Makeni Kenema Office Address: Reservation Road, Off Maxwell Khobe Street Kono Office: 37 Masingbe Road, Koidu City Kono Hotline Nos: 077 - 985985 , 077 986 986 , 515 (All Networks)
11. Page 11 Prevention Department holds inception meeting with Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs; which will be foll owed by a systems and processes review of the Ministry Reviews of the Ministry Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq recognised among ‘30 Most Influential Young Global Leaders 2019’ by the Pan African Leadership Foundation at a Ceremony in Banjul, The Gambia Customized meeting with staff of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital - : Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Alhassan Kargbo outlines offences in the Anti - Corruption Act, 2008 Community Outreach Meeting at Regent: Head of Outreach Unit Abubakarr Turay enlisting Community support to the anti - graft Campaign Pending the opening of our North - West Region Office in Port Loko, deployed staff on familiarization tour of stakeholders Meet the School Campaign at the QRS School in Bo: Investigations Officer Bassiatu Catching them young: Public Education Officer Sam P. Gogra engag- es pupils on corruption issues at the Kenema City Plaza Engagement with Integrity Management Committees of MDAs on the NACS 2019 - 2023 in Kenema: Director of NACS Nabilahi - Musa Kamara addressing participants
4. T he Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked a jam - packed hall of young people to take responsibility over the fight against corruption as it is the solitary fight to not only save the soul of this nation but also give young people a better future. Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. made this statement while delivering the keynote address at the premier Inter - Secondary Schools Debate Competition on the theme "My Education, my Future, No to Bribery and Corruption" held at the Kabbah Hall of the Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema on 21st July 2019. The two - day event which brought together twelve secondary schools in Kenema was organised by the Children and Youth Awareness Forum (CYAF), a consortium of young people across tertiary institutions in Sierra Leone, with the aim of raising awareness about issues that affect youth and children. Commissioner Kaifala, in whose honour the trophy was named (Ben - Kaifala Trophy) stated that the human race has struggled with just two battles for the rest of times: the battle to control the ravages and harness the benefits of mother nature; and the battle to tame, control and nurture the cruel, selfish, brutal and egocentric nature of man. “This untamed nature of man is the reason for crimes, wars, strife and corruption around the world,” he stated. Commissioner Kaifala said that governments have always established structures to help manage and control both man and nature. In Sierra Leone, he stated, this has led to the establishment of many structuresincluding but not limited to the ACC. He told the mammoth gathering of youths, heads of schools, parents etc. that corruption has been the biggest challenge to the country's wellbeing, adding that the people before him had contributed their bits to the war against corruption, which without doubt has never been enough. The ACC Commissioner said that if the country was to win the war against corruption, “now is the time”. He asked the young people to take a decision now to join the fight against corruption, admonishing them to build their minds free of corruption. "If we are to win this war, in- tegrity and self - discipline are required. What is not yours, don't take it!", the ACC Commissioner said amid thunderous applause from his audience. He challenged the youth by telling them that, “You are the ones this nation has been waiting for, please take responsibility and do not disappoint her again.” While presenting the trophy to Madison Academy in Kenema, which emerged as champions of the debate, the Commissioner expressed admiration at what he saw over the past two days and encouraged the pupils to continue doing well. He promised to continue supporting young people achieve their dreams. The Deputy Commissioner of ACC Augustine Foday Ngobie presented the runners - up trophy to the Echelon Private School in Kenema and was also full of praises for the performance of the pupils. St James Secondary School and the Holy Trinity Secondary School came third and fourth respectively. The event was graced by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, the Director of the Free Quality Education, the National Public Relations Officer of the Audit Service Sierra Leo- ne, and a host of dignitaries who hailed from Kenema . Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq presenting the winners’ trophy to Madison Academy Page 4
7. Page 7 T he Prevention Department of the Anti - Corruption Com- mission (ACC) has facilitated payment of Ebola com- pensation benefit to the next of kin of two Ebola volun- teer health workers who died in active service during the Ebola scourge. Christiana Sesay and Hawa Sesay (beneficiaries), received Thirty One Million Leones each (Le 31,000,000), on Friday 16th August, 2019, at the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit (IHPAU) Office, Tengbeh Town, Freetown. Christiana Sesay and Hawa Sesay were registered as next of kin for Foday Sesay and Ibrahim Sesay respectively who were volunteer workers in the health sector during the Ebola outbreak. Since the demise of both volunteer health workers, Christiana and Hawa had gone through the various procedures and verification exercises for payment of benefit. However, all efforts to receive payment proved unsuccessful in spite of the several complaints lodged with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Christiana and Hawa then decided to report the issue to ACC. The Commission through the Policy and Ethics Unit engaged the responsible officials on the allegations, and according to an investigation launched into the Ebola Compensation Benefit Funds, evidence clearly showed that the affected persons were the rightful beneficiaries. With the intervention of the Commission a total amount of Sixty Two Million Leones was paid to the complainants. Both showed profound gratitude to the Commission for such a laudable intervention, adding that „had it not been for the timely intervention of the Commission their families would have been deprived of their benefit. Head of Policy and Ethics Unit, ACC, Joseph Kangaju flanked by the two beneficiaries Health workers at the meeting T he Kenema Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has called on the Kenema District Health Management Team (DHMT) and In - Charges of all Peripheral Health Units in Kenema District to stand up against all acts of corruption and to partner with the ACC in the fight against the scourge. The call was made during the month- ly In - Charges' meeting at the Kenema District Council Hall on 6th August 2019. ACC Public Education Officer Sylvanus Blake, while presenting to the Kenema District Medical Officer a copy of a Systems Review Report titled “Strengthening Integ- rity in the Management of Drugs and other Medical and Related Services in Government Medical Facilities” done by the Prevention Department of the ACC, said that the nation is awake to a new belief that the war against corruption is one to save the soul of this nation. Mr Blake catalogued the huge gains recorded by the ACC in the fight against corruption in the recent past. Comparing the scourge of corruption to a pandemic virus, the Public Education Officer said the ACC considers all types of corruption as inimical to the country‟s development and will therefore ensure that the scourge is fought at all levels. Contd pg 9
5. T he Northern Region Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has conducted an outreach meet- ing on the work of the Commission at Mabokani Town, Safroko Limba Chiefdom, Bombali District. The programme which took place on Friday 23 rd August, 2019 at the Community Centre in Mabonkani Town, is part of the Commission‟s strategy to increase public knowledge on corruption issues as well as solicit citizens‟ support in the campaign. Speaking to stakeholders and residents of the community, ACC Regional Manager, Abu Bakarr Kamara, told the people about the mandate of ACC, adding that it is only when the public fully understands that mandate that people would channel the relevant complaints for appropriate action. He called on the public to be more proactive by ensuring that the corrupt do not have any safe haven. The Manager outlined some of the gains made by the Commission in different fronts that have resulted in in- creased public and donor confidence in the Commission. He encouraged his audience to take a patriotic stance against corruption, speak against this societal ill, and report acts of corruption to the ACC. ACC Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh appealed to public officials not to betray the trust the public have in them in the discharge of their duties. He affirmed that public institutions were established to meet the needs of Sierra Le- oneans and not to serve as extortion points. Mr Saccoh dilated on the deplorable condition of some state institutions, noting that it is largely as a result of corruption, something he said has affected not only the delivery of quality services but also the socioeconomic wellbeing of rural communities. He catalogued the effects of corruption on the community: it impairs infrastructural development, discourages hard work, promotes mediocrity, im- pedes investment, and could also threaten national security. In his Statement, ACC Public Education Officer Abdul Karim Bangura applauded the effort of the people of Mabonkani Community for the large turnout for the meeting amidst their busy farming activity. He described the engagement as an open forum that The people of Mabonkani Town at the meeting Page 5 T he Anti - Corruption Commission, on 12th Septem- ber, 2019, filed an indictment against Dr. SARAH FINDA BENDU, former Executive Director, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA). The Commission also indicted Mr. VICTOR LABOR, Procurement Manager, SLRSA; and Ms. KEPIATU ALGHALI, former Revenue Officer of the National Revenue Authority (NRA). All three were indicted on various counts of Misappropriation of Public Funds, contrary to Section 36(1); Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, contrary to Section 128(1); Failure to Comply with Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Tendering of Contracts, contrary to Section 48(2)(b); and Failure to Comply with the Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Management of Public Funds, contrary to Section 48(2)(b) of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008, respectively. Acting on the Auditor General‟s Report that public funds had been misappropriated by Dr. BENDU, Mr. LABOR at the SLRSA, and Ms. ALGHALI of the NRA, between Jan- u a r y 2 0 1 6 a n d D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 7 , t h e A C C accordingly instituted an investigation. The investigations revealed that Dr. BENDU, Mr. LABOR, and Ms. ALGHALI, conspired to defraud the State of a total sum of TWO BILLION AND NINETY ONE MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY - SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY LEO- NES,EIGHTY - EIGHTCENT(Le2,091,736,520.88). The accused persons, with intent to defraud the State, inflated customs duties, and payments for related services, and used the bank accounts of Centrum and KABS Clearing and Forwarding Agencies, and funneled monies in the guise of clearing tow trucks and holographic windshield labels. Contd Pg .8 Contd. Pg.3
2. Page 2 Alistair White, in his statement, commended the leadership of the ACC, for putting up a robust fight against corruption. He said zero tolerance to corruption, integrity in state institutions, adherence to the rule of law and good governance are vital features of any democratic state. He said the goal of the NACS should be seen to ensure that donor and public funds are accounted for. He assured the audience that, for the next five years, the United Kingdom will stand along the ACC to ensure that the implementation of the NACS is sustained. Head of Delegation, European Union Resident Representative, Mats Leiwefelt, said the EU is pleased with the government‟s stance in tackling corruption because corruption damages a country‟s reputation and undermines democratic institutions. He said corruption is one of the obstacles to investment and economic development. Mr. Leiwefelt, called on the people of Sierra Leone to embrace the Strategy. President Julius Maada Bio and Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq displaying the Report S tate House, Freetown, 5 September 2019 - The An- ti - Corruption Commission, ACC, has met at State House to present its 2018 Annual Report to His Ex- cellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio in accord- ance with Section 19(1) of the ACC Act of 2008. Commissioner of the ACC, Lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala, said they were entrusted with the responsibility of combating corruption in Sierra Leone and that in doing so there were certain obligations in the Law as safeguards in the interests of the country with one of it being the presentation of an annual report to the President. He said by all indications 2018 proved to be very good for the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. The ACC boss highlighted key areas covered by the 52 - page report, including the increase in conviction rate, increase in the revision of systems and processes to entrench prevention activities in the country, increase in a lot of activities done by the Commission, especially public education and progressions in the indexes that control corruption across the board. “This report covers half of the time which the New Direction took over to run the campaign against corruption and that period itself has been most successful in terms of the results we have produced. We are thankful for the support we are having from the President, his government and the people of Sierra Leone. We are pleased with the will that is coming from the President and assure you of our determination to win this fight,” he said. On his part, President Julius Maada Bio thanked the ACC team for adhering to their statutory obligation and as well commended them for their hard work and diligence to the fight against corruption in the country. He said the ACC had done quite a lot since the new leadership took over for which he was pleased and further encouraged them to do more. “The fight against corruption is a fight we will fight and win. Too many people suffer when corruption takes the centre stage and chokes up the development process and that had been the situation in this country. We have never really benefitted a lot from our natural resources because of corruption. If we are serious about development, then we must be serious about the fight against corruption so I want to commend you for the good work,” he ended. The Commissioner of the ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., in his statement, said the launch of the strategy is a milestone in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. “Over the years, Sierra Leone has been ranked by the Human Development Index (HDI), as one of the least developed countries in the world,” he said. He also stated that with the implementation of the new strategy, the country will surely regain its past glory. The Commissioner maintained that, when the President appointed him last year, his commitment is to see that the fight against corruption be seen as a pillar in which the country should move forward. He noted that prevention and public education are part of the new strategy, but that the strategy gives more premium to enforcement through investigations and prosecution. He commended the NACS Technical Team and the Secretariat for their efforts in preparing the strategy, which incorporates inputs from across the country. Deputy British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Contd from pg 1
6. T he Southern Region Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Moyamba District in a bid to raise awareness about the anti - corruption campaign and gauge the views of residents on projects implemented by MDAs operating in the District. The engagement was part of a three - day tour of the district by the Regional Manager Musa Jamirou Bala Ja- wara, having previously held similar engagements in Pu- jehun and Bonthe districts respectively. Addressing representatives of MDAs and Civil Society in the District at the Moyamba District Council Hall on Wednesday 4 th September 2019, the ACC Southern Region Manager said that the Moyamba Township lacked basic social services despite the huge funds that had been spent by Government to provide proper services. He said, that was as a result of corruption and therefore demanded that all heads of institutions present projects implemented for the past and present fiscal year to the Commission. He warned that time for the corrupt was up and that the ACC will be visiting the District unannounced to do on - the - spot checks of their activities. Mr Jawara furthered that the Commission was now changing the trajectory in the fight against corruption by implementing the financial and asset recovery and pros- e c u t i o n - b a s e d a p p r o a c h e s . H e i n f o r m e d h i s audience about the several gains made by the Commission in the last one year such as the recovery of over Sixteen Billion Leones, and the over ninety percent conviction rate. During this same period, the Commission also confiscated a hotel in Kono that was subject of an investigation, recovered two stolen government vehicles and drafted a Bill to strengthen the current 2008 Anti - Corruption Act. The Regional Manager said that the recent Afro Barometer Report that ranked the country highly in the control of corruption was a pointer to the fact that the ACC was doing very well in combating corruption. He not- ed that these achievements were possible due to the politi- cal will provided by the Government, the visionary leader- ship of the current Commissioner and the people‟s resolve to support the fight against corruption. Mr. Jawara solicited the support of Civil Society Organisations to be steadfast and help monitor the activities of MDAs. Civil Society bodies, he said, are „‟whistle blowers in the fight against corruption, ’’ urging them to always refer matters of corruption to the ACC for prompt and appropriate action. Chief Administrator of the Moyamba District Council, Veronica Fortune, said the visit by the ACC team was welcoming as it reminded them of their roles and responsibilities. She emphasized on team work in the provision of services to the people. Civil Society Activist, Gerald Foday said they were monitoring the activities of MDAs to ensure effective service delivery, making particular reference to the Mo- yamba District Council, which recently disbursed huge funds to devolved sectors for various projects in the district. He said they were also monitoring some key projects implemented by MDAs in the district and would come out with a comprehensive report that will be shared with the ACC and Audit Service. A question and answer session climaxed the programme. Regional Manager addressing MDAs and Civil Society Activists in Moyamba Page 6
1. Issue 8 Volume 31 October 2019 T he Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leo- ne, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Tuesday 13 th August, 2019 launched the National Anti - Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019 - 2023 at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building, Brookfields, Freetown. 3 The new Strategy will serve as a blueprint for government, the private sector, civil society and religious organisations to support the Commission‟s effort to fight corruption. It is a model for developing a set of shared responsibilities across all sectors, to encourage collaboration within and among sectors, and to direct renewed synergy towards the aim of reducing corruption and build an ethical society. Delivering the keynote address, the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, expressed government‟s appreciation for the launch of the five - year strategy. He said, corruption has been widespread in the country in the last forty - eight years, noting therefore that critical steps needed to be taken to ensure sustained development in tackling the scourge. The Vice President described the launch of the fourth generation of the NACS as a milestone in government‟s determination in combating corruption, adding that a unique feature of the new strategy is its holistic approach Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh formally launching the NACS 2019 - 2023 to address all levels and types of corruption. The Vice President called on Integrity Management Committees in public institutions to take ownership of the strategy and to develop and imbibe anti - corruption measures in their institutions. Dr Jalloh expressed delight at the huge gains made by the Commission in the fight against corruption in the last one year, highlighting that the ACC has secured a one hundred percent conviction rate in court and recovered about Two Million United States Dollars within this period. He assured the audience of government‟s continued support to the anti - graft campaign. The Chief Minister, Professor David Francis, who also doubled as Chairman of the event, thanked the ACC for the significant strides made under the leadership of Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., gains, he said, that are helping the country to regain its international reputation. “This has yielded dividend as many donor partners now have confidence in the government,” he noted. Professor Francis said corruption is a threat to a nation‟s development and that the new NACS is aligned with Government‟s Medium Term National Development Policy. Commissioner of ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq making a Statement at the launch of the NACS 2019 - 2023 Contd pg 2
8. Page 8 I n its sustained efforts to prevent corruption through education and empowerment, the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) Sub - Regional Office in Kono, on Thursday 1st August 2019 engaged the administrative staff and police officers of the Tankoro Native Administrative (TNA) Court in Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono District. The meeting took place at the TNA Building in Tankoro. Speaking on the purpose of the meeting, ACC Public Ed- ucation Officer, Edwin Blake, told stakeholders that the Commission usually engages different Ministries, Departments and Agencies on anti - corruption issues. He said such engagement is important for them and other service providers, as it would help them know the work of the Commission and what constitutes corruption. He defines corruption as the „cancer that undermines development aspirations in the country, so we must collectively fight against it‟. Mr. Blake said that, rampant corruption negatively affects effective service delivery and takes a general toll on the economy of the country. This, he said, has the potential to exacerbate poverty and suffering for the masses. „The narrative regarding the fight against corruption is highly positive with the People‟s Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq at the helm of affairs‟. The Public Educator said, a whopping sum of Eighteen Billion Leo- nes had been recovered from corrupt public officials in barely over one year of Kaifala‟s astute leadership. According to Mr Blake, the recent Le. 7.5 Billion tranche of the cash was handed over by cheque to H.E, The President Dr. Julius Maada Bio in a ceremony at House State in June 2019. The first tranche of the amount was presented in December 2018. He informed the audience that the recently published Transparency International 2019 Global Corruption Barometer Survey Report on Sierra Leone‟s ranking in the fight against corruption, is also very encouraging. The report shows that 57% of Sierra Le- oneans believe there is a reduction in corruption, because of the strong political will of the current Government and leadership of the ACC. The report further ranked Sierra Leone third, from among 37 African countries surveyed. ACC Investigations Officer, Sahid Sowa, speaking on the successes of the Commission affirmed that, one key reason why the ACC has won wide commendation, hinges on its resolve on enforcing the Anti - Corruption Act, 2008. He said Part IV of the Act contains corruption offences and their respective penalties. Giving examples of convictions secured by the Commission, he said the Commission has secured over 95 percent conviction rate so far. Dilating on corruption offences in the AC Act of 2008, he told stakeholders that, Soliciting and Receiving bribes; Abuse of Office and Position; Misappropriation of Public Funds; and Possession of Unexplained Wealth form part of the over Twenty Seven offences in the Act. He encouraged them to desist from corrupt - related issues. The court officials and police personnel commended the Commission for the gains. They stated that, corruption will be drastically reduced if the ACC continues honing its strategies right across the country and the public service. In his own contribution, Chiefdom Clerk, Sahr Rexson Kpakama, said, the court faces serious challenges, especially the non - payment of salary to its Chairmen and Clerks. He noted however that, in spite of the challenges they come to work all day. He pleaded with Government to help remedy the situation. He added that, the engagement with the ACC is timely and that what they have learned from the ACC will be adhered to. Cross - section of ACC Team and TNA Staff Pose for a Photo after the Upon the transfer and receipt of each payment, the Management of Centrum and KABS, on some occasions, directly transferred the funds to Ms. ALGHALI‟s account. On other occasions, they withdrew these monies and handed over same to her in person. The investigations further revealed that Ms. ALGHALI shared these monies with various employees of the SLR- SA, including Mr. LABOR and Dr. BENDU; who got the “Lion Share.” Contd from Pg .5
3. Page 3 EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITORS Margaret Murray Moris Ibrahim Kanteh LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Mansaray EDITORIAL ADVISE RS Patrick Sandi Emmanuel Koivaya Amara Alhassan Kargbo A s part of the Anti - Corruption Commission‟s drive to educate the public on the work of the Commission, the Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie, on Monday 5 th August 2019, delivered a public lecture to a group of Military Cadet Trainees of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces at the Armed Forces Training Centre, Benguema Military Barracks, in the Western Rural District. Speaking to more than five hundred military cadets and other ranks, Mr. Ngobie expressed thanks and apprecia- tion to the military administration for ac- cording the Commission the privilege to deliver a lecture on corruption - related issues. He gave a brief background of the establishment of the Commission in 2000 by an Act of Parliament, noting that this came as a result of the recommendations proffered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report . According to the TRC, one of the causes of the rebel war in Sierra Leone was due to widespread corruption in the country. The Deputy Commissioner went on to say, as military personnel, they ought to know about the work of the Commission, and what constitutes a corruption offence, as they are all public officers as prescribed by the Act. He defines corruption as the use of entrusted public office for private gain and referred to Section 7 (1) of the AC Act 2008 which gives the Commission the mandate to take all steps necessary to eradicate or minimize corruption. He disclosed that, in curbing corruption, the Commission employs different strategies namely; Public Education, Prevention, the National Anti - Corruption Strategy, Investigations, Intelligence gathering, Prosecution and Assets Declaration. He explained some of the common offences under the Act, including Possession of Unexplained Wealth, Corrupt Acquisition of Wealth, Abuse of Office and Breach of Procurement Procedures, and highlighted the penalties if an accused is convicted on any of the offences. Mr. Ngobie disclosed that over the past one year the Commission was successful in retrieving up to Eighteen Billion Leones from corrupt individuals. He said two cheques had been handed over to President Julius Maada Bio who in turn handed the cheques to the Minister of Finance for the construction of a modern diagnostic hospital for the people of Sierra Leone. He also mentioned that few days to his public lecture, the Commission had handed over to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice the keys of Ribar Hotel, which was corruptly acquired. In conclusion, he informed the audience that the Commission is enjoying a freehand to do its work, as there is political will in the fight against corruption. One of the Military Cadet Trainee Officers who delivered the vote of thanks assured the Commission of their support and pledged to put into practice what has been learnt from the lecture. An interactive question and answer session formed part of the programme. Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie (seated in front in blue African attire) and Military Cadet Trainees of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces after the lecture provides the public and ACC the opportunity to get firsthand account of the common corruption issues in the Community. Earlier in his statement, Headman Mabonkani Town, Eric Kamara, said they were pleased to have ACC in their midst, noting that such engagement would help restore their hopes as they have been suffering in silence due to ignorance. Mr. Kamara guaranteed the Commission, on behalf of his people, of their fullest cooperation in combating bribery and petty corruption for the good of the country. Contd from Pg 5
10. Page 10 Mr. Kaifala said that this partnership will further help to inform citizens about the work of the ACC and strate- gies used; and help the Commission get feedback from the public. John Konteh, Station Manager of AfriRadio expressed commendation to the ACC for the tremendous strides made so far in the fight against corruption, which “has contributed to a huge perceptional shift among Sierra Leoneans, who for the first time now strongly believe that corruption can be adequately controlled.” Mr. Konteh said, a recent study conducted shows that 82 percent of Sierra Leoneans have access to radio; and AfriRadio FM 105.3 covers about 85 percent of the entire country with an online audience of over 50,000, which makes the station adequately positioned to provide the much needed radio coverage to convey anti - corruption messages both in and out of the country. “This ceremony today is just to formalize the long - standing relationship between the two institutions, as AfriRadio has been providing airtime to the ACC and giving other necessary support”, he stat- ed. Mr. Konteh ended by stating that such partnership with the ACC in the fight against corruption will add to the corporate profile of the radio station. The signing ceremony chaired by Patrick Sandi, Director of Public Education and External Outreach of the ACC, who noted that the Commission is aware of the benefits the MoU would add to its public education drive. T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Thursday 26 th September 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AfriRadio FM 105.3. The signing ceremony which took place at the ACC Head Office at 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, will, among other things, formalize the agreement between the two institutions to work in partnership to provide reliable and relevant information on corrupt practices and other corruption - related issues in Sierra Leo- ne. Speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner of the ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. said that it required the “concerted efforts of all sectors for the country to succeed in its national efforts to defeat the common enemy of corruption, which has held the destiny of our country for several decades.” According to the agreement, AfriRadio will continue to provide free airtime to the ACC for the broadcast of discussion programmes, jingles and other public service announcements to promote the work of the Commission. The ACC Commissioner thanked the management of AfriRadio for their continued support to the ACC in the fight against corruption, noting that “Public education and relation are vital components in the fight against corruption - as corruption is a perceptional fight which is first won in the head.” Commissioner of ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq (right) and Station Manager of AfriRadio John Konteh signing the MoU By Aiah P.M. Sourie, Public Education Officer, ACC Sub Regional Office, Kono Gatherer of Twisted Coins Your greedy stealth to steal common coins – Coins to coin you a name that feigns – Feigns to hold ignorant gazes agape As you lick your gold coins of rape. The masses wince and wilt under your pickings Like a withering rose in the scorching sun. Yet you slide in sleek wheels and roof Your head with insatiable tons of iron. But your glee in lying and fleecing is fleeting, Like a dewy bulb in the morning sun; And when the darting eyes swoon soon, Your craft for graft will become tales for children. The Eye The Eye. Ah The Eye! Fearless like Little David, Destined to snuff voracious Goliaths; Tenacious like the honey badger, Determined to deter the Picking Finger; Yet gregarious like a giraffe, Receptive to all with a common mandate. From a top, the Bintumani His iris dilates with focused perception, Planning and searching and targeting with clear resolution. His head turning like a ceiling fan; His view staying unflickered. Oh what chances have you to bolt and hide? Rokel, for all her depth and length and current; Gola, for all his hanging and sprawling undergrowth; Even the belly of the ground, Cannot conceal the Pinking Finger. The best place to hide is in the open!
9. L ooking at the Prevention of Corruption Ordinance, Cap 33 of 1907, Laws of Sierra Leone, it seems as corruption in public life was inherited from the British colonial regime, but one thing is clear: some of our leaders have perfected its art. The laws of Sierra Leone accord immunity from prosecution to certain categories of public officials in the discharge of their functions. One of such laws is section 48(4) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No 6 of 1991, which provides a blanket immunity from prosecution to the President while in office. The Constitution also provides immunity to Judges and Members of Parliament (MPs). Section 120(9) of the Constitution provides that „[A] Judge of the Superior Court of Judicature shall not be liable to any action or suit for any matter or thing done by him in the performance of his judicial functions ‟. It appears from this provision that some spanners may be thrown into the work of the Anti - Corruption Commission where a Judge is being investigated for the offence of abuse of office. This is because unlike other corruption offences, prosecuting a Judge for abuse of office means that the Commission will have to investigate the nature of the discharge of his judicial functions for which he can ordinarily not be prosecuted. However, the immunity of Judges regarding the discharge of their official functions is not absolute, and was never intended to be. The Third Schedule of the Constitution, which contains the oath of office for judges, states that they should faithfully and truly discharge their duties and support and uphold the Constitution of Sierra Leone. A Judge, for example, who imposes a sentence that is below the minimum provided by statute does not only breach his oath of office, but also commits the offence of abuse of position contrary to section 43 of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 because of the use of his position to do an act that is contrary to law. It is my view that the immunity of Judges in the discharge of their functions is not ab- solute and it can be lifted where there is evidence of abuse of position, abuse of office or any other corruption offence. The immunity of Parliamentarians is also provided in Section 99(1) of the Constitution which states that “... no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a Member of Parliament in any court or place out of Parliament by reason of anything said by him in Parliament”. Section 99(1) clearly shows that Parliamentarians do not enjoy a blanket immunity from prosecution because it covers only statements that are made in Parliament. However, subsections 2 - 5 of section 99 of the Constitution throw further light on the immunity that is provided in section 99(1) by specifically referring to defamatory statements made by MPs and the procedure that should be followed to investigate same. In essence, subsections 2 - 5 do not cover any other statement except defamatory statements. Also, section 99, as a whole, covers only statements and not the conduct of Parliamentarians. An MP can therefore be prosecuted for any corruption offence allegedly committed in Parliament or in his constituency. This view is also reinforced by the Constitution in section 97 (b) which provides that all PMs „...shall desist from any conduct by which they seek I improperly to enrich themselves or al- ienate themselves from the people’. Thus, the Constitution of Sierra Leone is clear on the fact that Joel Tejan Deen - Tarawally Esq. , Prosecutor, ACC Page 9 Borrowing the words of the ACC czar, Francis Ben Keifala Esq., Mr Blake said that “the fight against corruption is a recalibrated one that is fierce but fair”. He urged his audience to exhibit honesty and integrity and join the Commission in defeating corruption. He cautioned health workers against any form of misuse of medicinal facilities and resources intended for the benefit of the public, stating that the ACC shall investigate and prosecute anyone who commits any act of corruption. ACC Investigations Officer Mohamed Alhaji Jah, explained some of the offences in the Anti - Corruption Act, 2008 and admonished his audience to be conversant with the provisions of the Act, adding that as public officers, they are bound by public duty to uphold the core values of integrity, transparency and accountability at all times in the discharge of their duties. The Kenema District Medical Officer Dr. Donald Grant expressed delight at the usual awareness raising drive by the ACC and requested his staff to always comport themselves properly and in line with best practices and procedures. He encouraged staff to always exhibit love for humanity and save more lives rather than involve in acts that may harm the health of citizens. Contd from Pg 7 justice and the public interest should always supersede the immunities of public officials, and this may sooner or later include the immunity of a sitting President.
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