2023

ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION OF SIERRA LEONE

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: Cathedral House, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

BULLETIN VOLUME 10 Issue 10 NOVEMBER, 2022 FINAL

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1. Page 2 Page 3 work of the ACC. Speaking at the event, Gelaga King, a member of the UK - Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network, said it was the drive for efficiency and transparency that led to the development of the Non - Prosecution Policy, which they believe to be a very important step that will ensure a change in the way in which decisions are taken at the prosecutorial level. Richard Honey, a member of the UK - Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network, thanked and applauded the Commissioner and his Management Team for their remarkable efforts in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. He said the policy will help to continue building public trust and confidence in the work of the ACC. He expressed hope that this policy will create the desired impact on the prosecutorial dimension of the work of the Commission. It is expected from both institutions that the effective use of the Non - Prosecution Policy will ensure fairness, transparency and accountability, and ultimately build public trust in the Commission as well as the justice system. The event was chaired by the Director, Public Ed- u c a t i o n a n d E x t e r n a l O u t r e a c h , A C C , P a t r i c k S a n- di. T he United Kingdom/Sierra Leone Pro Bono Net- work has presented the „Non - Prosecution Poli- cy‟ to the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC). The pol- i c y w h i c h a i m s a t p r o v i d i n g a b l u e p r i n t o r g u i d e t o d e c i- sions taken at the ACC in regard the non - conviction - based asset recovery regime was presented to the Commission on the 18 th October, 2022, at the conference room of the Commission‟s head office in Freetown. The presentation of the policy was witnessed by the Directors of the different Departments at the ACC and a cross section of the UK/Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network. The Non - Prosecution Policy is intended to guide the conduct, powers, and duties of the Commission‟s prosecutors in making decision in the discharge of their functions and also serves as factors to consider in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Where a prosecutor decides not to charge to court, they can use other alternatives such as restitution, cooperation agreements, and asset forfeiture, as stated in the policy. The Policy intends to strengthen and enhance the growth of the anti - corruption prosecutorial framework. The Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., thanked the Pro Bono Network for developing this policy, “the policy takes the decision making process of non - conviction - based asset recovery to another level, as most times it has been centred on the Commissioner. Now, he said, this policy rests such decision making in the hands of ACC prosecutors. He added that the Non - Prosecution Policy will be disseminated for public consumption so that they too will be aware of these guidelines which will continue to boost public trust and confidence in the ACC. He assured the Pro Bono Net- work and the British High Commission Sierra Leone that the document will be crystallised in the operational T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Audit Service Sierra Leone (ASSL), on Thursday, 13th October, 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) geared towards strengthening and deepening partnership and collaboration to promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public service throughout Sierra Leone. The signing ceremony took place at the Conference Room of the ASSL, 12th Floor, Freetown City Council Building, Wallace Johnson Street, Freetown. Speaking at the event, the Commissioner of ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. said he was very thrilled and grateful for the renewal of the partnership as previous partnerships have been geared towards ensuring there is accountability and also to put Sierra Leone on a greater height when it comes to transparency. He added that what the ACC had done is to learn from mistakes from previous partnerships, noting that “we have learnt from the past in preparation for the future to ensure better collaboration with ASSL”. The Commissioner thanked the leadership and Management of ASSL for their support to the ACC in carrying out its functions. The Acting Auditor General of ASSL, Abdul Aziz, thanked the Commissioner for renewing the partnership agreement which shows the dynamic leadership of the Commissioner. “ACC and ASSL are strategic partners in the accountability sector. Therefore, this MoU will take this partnership to another level,” he noted. He added that the partnership will be of great benefit to citizens of Sierra Leone, adding that the ASSL have reviewed their Audit approach to urge MDAs to fulfill their functions in a transparent manner by focusing on effective service delivery. He ended his statement by commending the ACC Commissioner and urging him to continue the fight against corruption with great enthusiasm and energy. Earlier, in his opening and welcome statement, the Deputy Auditor - General Aiah Gbondo - Tugbawa, who chaired the ceremony underscored that, as watchdog institutions of Government in ensuring accountability, ACC and ASSL have always worked in collaboration to ensure government entities follow due diligence in the their duties. He also stated that this MoU captures other areas that were not included in the previous ones. The relationship between the ACC and ASSL has over the years helped the Commission in its anti - corruption campaign. The ACC has effectively utilized the findings and recommendations of the Annual, Technical and Real time Audit Reports, which highlight anomalies of misappropriation and other financial improprieties. Through its interventions in the Auditor General‟s Reports, the ACC has been able to recover public funds, prosecute corrupt public officials, and conduct systems and processes reviews of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government. According to the citation of the MoU read by the Director, Public Education and Outreach ACC, Patrick Sandi, the ACC and ASSL will collaborate with each other to ensure that any request made by one party to the other shall be promptly attended to. This includes the sharing of information between the two institutions as it would relate to their functions and mandate. The ACC and ASSL Teams in pic after the signing ceremony Commissioner ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. assuring the Pro Bono Network of the maximum use of the Policy The Ag. Auditor General, ASSL (L), Abdul Aziz and the ACC Commissioner (R), Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., appending signatures to the MoU Galaga King, member of the UK/SL Pro Bono Network emphasizing on the benefits of the Policy Contd. page 4

2. MEET THE TEAM EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITOR Sylvanus Blake LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Augustine Foday Ngobie Patrick Sandi Emmanuel Koivaya Amara INSIDE THIS ISSUE pg ACC PRESENTS 2021 ANNUAL REPORT TO PRESIDENT BIO 1 PRO BONO NET- WORK PRESENTS “NON - PROSECUTION POLICY” TO ACC 3 NOVEMBER 2022 THE ANTI - CORRUPTION COMMISSION T he Commissioner of the nation‟s Anti - Graft agency, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. on Tuesday 18th October, 2021, presented to His Excellency, President Julius Maada Wonnie Bio at State House in Freetown, the Annual Report of the Commission for 2021. The event, which is in compliance with Section 19(1) of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 as amend- ed in 2019 attracted Government Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Heads of Integrity watchdog Institutions, Civil Society, the Media, among others. Presenting the Report to the President and by extension to the people of Sierra Leone, the ACC Commissioner, acknowledged the President and the Government of Sierra Leone for what he described as their unwavering and exemplary support to the Commission. “Your Excellency, for four years we have incrementally progressed at all fronts in the crusade against corruption which is aimed at laundering the image of Sierra Leone and positioning her to take her rightful place amongst nations that are on the trajectory of sound eco- nomic growth. We continue to do our work for the people of Sierra Leone, irre- spective of the daunting nature of the task,” the Commissioner underscored. He went on to state that the 2021 Annual Report highlights the work of the ACC, the gains and successes made, challenges faced and plans for the ensuing years. Ben Kaifala furthered that the ACC has continued to make corruption a very high - risk, low - return, and expensive venture for the corrupt as the President had declared. “Those who engage in corruption should make a choice, and within the framework of that choice, they should be prepared for the consequences thereof”. He stated that the ACC has continued to develop policies that shall continue to heighten the effectiveness of the campaign against corruption. Volume 10 Issue 10 ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. presenting the Report to the President, Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Wonnie Bio, at State House These include a “Non - Prosecution Policy” to regulate the non - conviction - based asset recovery approach to the fight against corruption, and the “Sentencing Guidelines” and a “Practice Direction” which have been submitted to the Hon Chief Justice Edwards. Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, ACC, Augustine Foday Ngobie stating the purpose of the gathering, thanked President Bio and his Government for what he referred to as their determined and inspiring leadership and support to the Commission. He stated that the ceremony was a further testament of the Commission‟s posture of being accountable to the Government and people of Sierra Leone. Receiving the Report, the President while applauding the work of the ACC stated that as a Government, they had clearly mapped out the adverse effects of corruption on our nation. He said that amongst many others, corruption undermines the buoyancy of the economy, donor and investor confidence, the smooth and quality delivery of public services like education, health, infrastructure, and governance, destroying the integrity of institutions of the State, muddles the image of the State, etc. “We, therefore, labeled corruption as an existential threat, resolved it is a fight we must fight and a fight we must all win together” President Bio stated. President Bio also said that the nation‟s anti - corruption campaign is underpinned by the four strategic pillars of prevention, public education, investigation, and prosecution. He referenced the sustained engagements with public sector institutions as one that has helped reform systems, processes, and practices in these institutions, hence making them resistant to corruption. While acknowledging the outstanding progress made in the fight against corruption, President Bio affirmed that his Government has taken decisive steps to strengthen the hand of the ACC to independently and transparently carry out its mandate through strong legislative reforms and heightened political commitment and support to its work, key amongst being the radical and progressive 2019 amendment provisions to the 2008 Anti - Corruption Act, the introduction of the Special Anti - Corruption Division of the High Court of Sierra Leone with state of - the - art paraphernalia and resources dedicated exclusively to the prosecution of corruption cases which have led to a higher turnout of verdicts and convictions, the huge recovery of stolen wealth and assets in the past three years, which outweighs what was recovered in more than a decade before 2018, the favorable, progressive and historic scores in all credible international anti - corruption indexes and ratings, to name but a few. President Bio also noted that the Anti - Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act (No 3) of 2019, which he signed into law was to give the ACC jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute money laundering and financing of terrorism - related offenses thereby, extending the prosecutorial mandate of the Commission. He thanked the ACC Commissioner and his team for their dedication, fortitude, and outstanding successes in the fight against corruption. President Bio pledged his Government‟s continued commitment to the fight against corruption which will save the soul of this nation. The Annual Report covers the work and activities of the Commission in 2021, in the areas of; public education, prevention, assets declaration, national strategy implementation, grievance redress mechanism, intelligence, investigation and prosecution, administration, and finance. It was a year the country increased its percentage score to 83% in the „Corruption‟ indicator in the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard and ranked 115 out of 180 countries surveyed in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI - CPI). Moreover, the MoU states that in the conduct of an Audit or a Review, where ASSL is of the opinion that fraud or fi- nancial malfeasance has occurred, the ASSL shall duly inform the ACC - SL for on - the - spot intervention prior to the submission of the said Audit Report in line with Section 78(1)(d) of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 (as amended in 2019). The signing of the MoU by the two leaderships of the ACC and ASSL formed the high point of the ceremony. Page 4 Page 1 (L - R): ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., Deputy Commissioner Augustine Foday Ngobie and other senior Management staff of the ACC at the event ACC AND ASSL FORMALIZE PARTNERSHIP TO PROMOTE INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY 2 Contd. from page 1 Contd. from page 2

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