By: Sulaiman B Sowa
In an effort to promote collaboration and uphold integrity in the workplace, the Eastern Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Kenema, has engaged officers of the Sierra Leone Police Division in Kailahun on the need for more collaboration and for officers of the force to uphold integrity in their operations. The engagement took place on Wednesday 15th September, 2021, at the Kailahun Police Division in Kailahun Town
ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer Sulaiman B. Sowa said police officers should embrace integrity to remain dedicated, committed, honest and focused on protecting lives and property. He said that corruption is an act that can be prevented and cured by upholding integrity, which ensures that police officers “do the right thing when no one is watching or being told to do so”.
Mr. Sowa entreated the officers to be proud of their jobs and show a level of integrity that makes them template of honesty and agents of the fight against corruption.
Investigation Officer Mohamed Jah said the ACC and the police are law enforcement and integrity institutions and there is therefore the need for them to foster collaboration and promote the fight against corruption.
Mr. Jah concluded that the collaboration between the two institutions has seen police officers gainfully employed at the Commission and often led to information and intelligence sharing.
Detailing key offences in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, Investigation Officer Quinton David, said police officers should avail themselves the opportunity of familiarizing themselves with the laws of Sierra Leone especially those related to corruption.
Mr. David singled out key some of the offences such as abuse of office, soliciting and accepting advantage and conspiracy; noting that each carries a minimum fine of Fifty Million Leones or a jail term of not less than five years or to both a jail term and fine.
He concluded by saying that the burden of proof for some offences-like unexplained wealth and bribery- has been tilted, meaning that the accused person has a greater burden to show his or her innocence.
Appreciating the engagement, Local Unit Commander of the Kailahun Police Division Sao Vandy, thanked the Commission for heeding to his request for a public education engagement with his Division. He reiterated the need for officers to exhibit the highest form of integrity in the discharge of their duties. He pledged to disseminate the anti-corruption messages to other officers.