Sierra Leone anti-corruption boss says fighting corruption is to save the nation’s soul

The Anti-Corruption Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., has informed partners that the “fight against corruption is to save the soul of Sierra Leone”.

ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq.

He made this statement on Tuesday 17th July 2018 at the ACC Conference Hall, 3 Gloucester Street Freetown during a one day training workshop organized for new Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) partners in the fight against corruption.

“We need people to help in the fight because the Commission alone cannot win it; that is why strategic partnership is very important” the ACC boss furthered.

Mr. Kaifala also said, the fight against corruption will be taken seriously more than ever before.

“We are expanding the scope of operations of the ACC, we are expanding the offences that we take to court, we are expanding the systems and processes review exercises, to see that corruption is minimized and prevented; and we are going to review the AC Act 2008 to make it stronger and better”, the Commissioner averred.

He informed the audience that the Commission is going to establish a special court that is going to look exclusively at corruption cases with special judges.

He said, the challenge the Commission faced before with the Judiciary was when the Commission’s cases had to fall behind other cases in court. He mentioned that the training was timely and called on them to take the fight seriously.

Welcoming members of civil society organizations, Deputy Commissioner ACC, Shollay Davies said, the Commission appreciates the efforts of the CSOs to be part of the team in the fight against corruption.

He stated that, ACC is not only meant to investigate and prosecute instances of corruption, but also to educate the public on issues of corruption and the benefits of corrupt free society and to review systems and processes of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Mr. Davies said the purpose of the training was to collaborate and maintain the mutual cooperation between the Commission and the CSOs; noting, “if we do not effectively collaborate with CSOs, our work will be very challenging”.

He underscored that the training workshop was to enable them understand the elements that constitute corruption offences under the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 in order to be capacitated to inform the public accordingly.

Deputy Director, Public Education and Outreach Department of the ACC, Patrick Sandi dilated on the structure and operations of the ACC.

Explaining some of the offences in the AC Act of 2008, ACC Prosecutor, Jeelo Kainwo, explained some of the corruption offences that are frequently committed. She mentioned offences like misappropriation of Public funds and property, misappropriation of donor funds, violation of procurement procedures and offering, soliciting and accepting an advantage, among others.

Michael Sesay, Head of Public Education Unit, ACC, spoke on the role of partners in the fight against corruption and encouraged all to support the war against corruption.

Story published courtesy of the trumpet newspaper

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