An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

Contact us on: +23278832131 or info@anticorruption.gov.sl
Address:  Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa.


By Patrick Hinga George, Public Education Officer

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Eastern Regional Office in Kenema has admonished Local Court Authorities to uphold integrity in the dispensation of justice. The admonition was made during a customized meeting held on Monday, 18th March, 2024, at Local Court No. 1 along Main Street in Kenema City.

While addressing the Local Court Authorities, the ACC’s Regional Manager, Peter Biao Kamara, dilated on some of the key corruption offences more likely to be committed by the Local Court Authorities in the dispensation of their responsibilities, including corrupt acquisition of wealth, possession of unexplained wealth, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office, abuse of position and conflict of interest.

The Regional Manager further admonished his audience to deviate forthwith from cases they do not have the locus to hear and ensure that such cases be transferred to the appropriate courts. He said that the Local Courts Act should serve as a guide when discharging their duties. “The threshold of cases you are to preside over, alongside their corresponding penalties, are clearly enshrined in the Local Courts Act,” he emphasised.

While concluding his statement, Mr. Kamara outlined the corresponding penalties for some of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 (as amended in 2019); a minimum fine of Five Thousand (New) Leones, five-year imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Judge.

Earlier, while explaining the purpose of the meeting, Senior Public Education Officer, Edward N. Blake, first appreciated the Local Court for their warm reception and entreated the authorities to note that the ACC’s visit was not to investigate, reprimand nor terrorise any member of the Local Court, but in pursuit of fostering public support in the fight against corruption through public education.

Mr. Blake also stated that the fight against corruption is national; therefore no segment should be left behind and requested the support of all in order to heighten the campaign. He further acknowledged the importance of the Local Court in settling of disputes and admonished the Court to uphold high integrity in the dispensation of justice.

Public Education Officer, Patrick Hinga George, explained the dangers and consequences of corruption in the lives of Sierra Leoneans and admonished them to be diligent in their duties. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report, he said, massive corruption within the judiciary paved way for rampant injustice and same created disgruntled minds of Sierra Leoneans and subsequently fanned the 11-year brutal and civil unrest in Sierra Leone. He therefore stressed the importance of a corrupt-free country by admonishing them on the Commission’s zero tolerance stance on the scourge.

Earlier, welcoming the team from the ACC, the Chairman of Local Court No.1, Brima Bockarie referred to the engagement as an appropriate step in the right direction. He emphasised the importance of the engagement to the fight against graft and assured the Commission that the Local Court will uphold high integrity standards in the dispensation of justice without fear or favour.

In his statement, the Chiefdom Administrative Clerk, Victor Gbessay Gallia, said that the meeting was apt and therefore appreciated the team from ACC for not just admonishing them but also, educating them on the provisions of the law as enshrined in the AC Act of 2008 (as amended in 2019). He further encouraged all present to digest and execute their duties with integrity, respect and within the expected ample time without bias or favour. He concluded by pledging unwavering commitment on behalf of his team to the national fight against the country’s worst enemy - corruption.

A plenary session formed part of the engagement.

Chairman of Local Court No.1, Brima Bockarie

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