By Jeneba Kemoh
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Region Office has on the 18th March 2021, engaged officers of the Legal Aid Board (LAB) in Kenema in a bid to strengthen partnership in the fight against corruption.
The engagement, which took place at theLAB Eastern Region office in Kenema, is part of the Commission’s drive to garner more support for the anti-corruption campaign.
Senior Public Education Officer attached to the ACC’s Eastern Region office, Sulaiman B. Sowa, said partnership and collaboration remains one of the best anti-corruption strategies in the world. He said the ACC and LAB have different mandates but similar work, geared towards ensuring justice and the rule of law. “The wellbeing of this nation and vulnerable groups are largely dependent on these two institutions,” he said.
Mr. Sowa said a strong partnership between the two institutions does not only help in the fight against corruption but also lays a solid foundation on how to channel complaints to the right institutions that are mandated by law to address them. He therefore admonished LAB officers to always refer corruption-related matters to the ACC as is often done by the Commission.
The Senior Public Education Officer also spoke on some of the key offences in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act, as amended in 2019. “As public officers, it is your duty to manifest utmostprofessionalism and integrity so that public confidence can besustained,” he furthered.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Officer of the LAB office In Kenema,Ignatius Samuels, described the ACC as a key partner and therefore welcomed the engagement as timely and the right step in the fight against corruption.
He said their workload and the large number of clients they serve, requires them to maintain high levels of integrity. He noted that even where alternative dispute resolutions might not always be favorable to some parties, the outcomes reflect the general satisfaction that the purpose of justice is served fairly, as prescribed by law. He assured the ACC that they will always collaborate and make appropriate referrals when and where necessary.
During the question-and-answer session, other officers of LAB expressed similar comments and pledged to uphold integrity at all time.