December 2019 Issue 9 Volume 32
12. Published by the Anti - Corruption Commission Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Tel. No: 223645 Website: firstname.lastname@example.org Bo Office Address: 10 Bo Pujehun Drive, Kebbie Town Email: email@example.com Makeni Office Address: Mena Hill Reservation, Makeni Kenema Office Address: Reservation Road, Off Maxwell Khobe Street Kono Office: 37 Masingbi Road, Koidu City Kono Port Loko : 27 Conteh Street, Port Loko Hotline Nos: 077 - 985985 , 077 986 986 , 515 (All Networks)
11. Page 11 At the National Development Awards 2019 organised by Diaspora Focus, the ACC grabbed 3 awards: the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq award- ed for his leadership in the anti - graft campaign, the ACC’s Scorpion Squad for its precision in the campaign, and the ACC as Institution of the Year. Memoranda of Understanding with Citizens Advocacy Network (CAN) and Fix Solution and CAN: (Left to right: ACC Deputy Commissioner Augustine Foday Ngobie, Executive Director of CAN Thomas Moore Conteh, ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq and CEO Fix Solution, Sorieba Daffae. Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi was participant at the reconvened 28th Session on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that took place in Vienna, Austria, on 10 - 11 December, 2019. ACC Sub - Regional Office in Kono engages public officers in the district on the need to set up Integrity Management Committees in their institutions to help combat incidences of corruption. North - East Region Office of the ACC in Makeni engages education stakehold- ers in Magburaka and its environs on the need to instill integrity in the educa- tion sector Leaving no stone unturned: ACC Regional Office in Bo reached out to personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces deployed in Zimmi Deputy Director of Prevention Department, ACC, Patrick M. George, presenting Systems and Processes Review Report on the Freetown City Council to the Deputy Chief Administrator of the Council, Bangalie F. Marah The Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, on Monday 9 th December, 2019 commissioned the Anti - Corruption Division of the High Court by Statutory Instrument and designated 5 Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature to sit on ACC cases.
10. Page 10 ster of corruption, his team at the ACC will always need the unwavering support of the people of this country in this difficult war. "When we look back, we want to see the people standing behind us; especially when the going gets tough; when we take courageous and uncommon actions. Instead of asking why did we do it, we want the people to say "this is why they (ACC) did it", because corruption has held the destiny of our country to ransom for a very long time. The Executive Director of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Ibrahim Tommy, stated that all forms of corruption are bad; but grand corruption in the form of state capture hurts the country the most. He called on his colleagues in the civil society world to unite against the common enemy of corruption. The British High Commissioner Simon Mustard, and the Nigerian High Commissioner Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada; both offered statements of commendation to the Government of Sierra Leone and the ACC for the tremendous progress made in the fight against corruption; and assured support on behalf of their nations. A panel of experts discussion, moderated by Justice Miatta Samba of the Court of Appeals, and comprising Lara Taylor Pearce (Auditor General), Dr. Brain Conton (Director Leone Preparatory School), Joe Pemagbi (County Director OSIWA), Ndeye Fatu Koro- ma (Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Chal- lenge Corporation Unit), thoroughly dissected the theme of the event. Institutions over the past decade were starved of the required resources to survive; and became centres of contestations. In order to reverse this trend, the Vice President stated that his administration has allocated the highest portion of the country‘s budget to the educational sector. "Out of every ten (10) Sierra Leonean kid, eight (8) are now rushing to school because it is free", he said. The Vice President noted that, for the country to reclaim its past educational glory, requires three main approaches: process, structural and societal. He ended by reminding all that, state - centered approaches have their limits, but the inclusion of societal approach (including parents, civil society and media) is the only way out of the current malaise. In his address, the Commissioner of the ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. stated that the celebration of the day was an opportunity for the country to come together and reflect on what has happened in the fight against corruption over the past one year; and to strategize on how to attack the scourge going forward. He further stated that the selection of the theme for this year - United Against Corruption for Quality Education - by the ACC was deliberate, as corruption in the form of rampant examination malpractices is an existential threat to the future of the country; noting that desperate measures should be adopted to reverse the ugly trend. Giving a brief report on the status of the fight against corruption, the ACC Boss stated that, more than ever before, the country is now firmly positioned to effectively control corruption. "The message is going; there is a united cloud building against corruption. Sierra Leone just passed the strongest anti - corruption law - The 2019 Anti - Corruption Amendment Act - in Africa; it is going to be the blueprint in the fight against corruption across Africa. To complete the cyclone that is building against corruption, the Chief Justice will today be commissioning a space at the Law Court Building dedicated to host the Special Division in the High Court to deal with corruption cases." The ACC Commissioner further elucidated that the President has shown tremendous Presidential will by assenting to the new Amendment Act, Amongst other support to the ACC Commissioner Kaifala ended by admonishing the public that he and his team at the ACC are prepared to lead the national crusade against corruption for the good of the country. He however stated that, as soldiers sent to the battle field to confront the mon- Contd from pg 1
1. Issue 9 Volume 32 December 2019 T he Anti - Corruption Commission of Sierra Leo- ne, in partnership with the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), has on Monday 9th December, 2019, joined other anti - corruption agencies in the world, to commemorate the International Anti - Corruption (IAC) Day 2019. The International Anti - Corruption Day is observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003, to raise public awareness about the ills of corruption and what Governments can do to combat the scourge In commemorating this year's IAC Day, the ACC, in partnership with CARL, staged a grand symposium at the Miatta Conference Centre, Brookfields, in Freetown. The event brought together a body of experts in the anti - corruption space, Government officials, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, civil society organisations, the media, students and ordinary Sierra Leoneans; under the distinguished Grand Chief Patronage of the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh, under the theme "United Against Corruption to Ensure Quality Education". It created a platform for a national conversation around the standard of the country's educational system which many Sierra Leoneans view as being near collapse. Delivering the Keynote address on the theme "Reinforcing the Anti - Corruption War in the Education Sector: Connecting the nexus between accountability regimes and ensuring quality education in Sierra Leone", the Vice President started off by thanking the ACC for choosing him to give the keynote address on a topic that is dear to him as an individual, but also relevant to the Government's New Direction Agenda, which has education at the heart of their priorities. The Vice President said that education is the measuring instrument of the rise and fall of a state. He said that, once prided as the best you could get in black Africa, our educational system, prior to the advent of the New Direction administration, was in a state of decadence. "Academic malpractice has become a routine exercise for schools across the country. It is sad and unacceptable", he said. He furthered that what is prevailing in the country currently is a product of history, as educational institutions over the past decade were starved of the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. making a statement Contd pg 10 Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh delivering the keynote address
9. L ike many African countries that are still bedevilled with the ma- laise of corruption, Sierra Leo- ne has developed a culture of cele- brating the proceeds of corruption. A public officer, for example, without any other lawful source of income, may be earning just over Le2,000,000 per month and yet owns a four storey building, an M - Class and C - Class Mercedes Benz and moneys in a number of bank ac- counts and still be celebrated as suc- cessful. The question is how would a public officer own so much wealth even though he earns so little. This is definitely not limited to low income earners, and Article 20 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption defines unexplained wealth as a ̳ significant increase in the assets of a public official that he or she cannot reasonably explain in relation to his or her lawful income ‘. Gone are the days when manna would fall from heaven and wealth certainly does not fall from the sky, it is either earned legitimately or acquired illicitly. One definite sign that a society is romancing with corruption is the turning of a blind eye to people who maintain a certain wealthy lifestyle without justification; the effect is the creation of a safe haven for corruption to thrive. However, I am absolutely certain that the new and indefatigable vigour and results in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone have sent a clear message that Sierra Leone should no longer be a safe haven for the corrupt. There is also no gainsay in the fact that creating a safe haven for corruption was never the intention of the drafters of the Anti - Corruption Act No 12 of 2008. This is why Section 27 of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 creates the offence of unexplained wealth as a weapon of recovery of stolen public funds or property. Many a time it is almost impossible to obtain evidence that will lead to the prosecution of people for their corrupt practices because of the cloak of se- crecy under which they engage in corruption, which is why it makes sense to go after the product of their corrupt acts. It is therefore surprising that since the enactment of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008, only two cases of unexplained wealth have been prosecuted with one conviction secured in the matter of The State vs Solomon Katta and Four Others, 2014. I do not want to hold the view that the Commission is indifferent to the moribund state of the offence of unexplained wealth. It is likely that the challenges associated with its investigation are many, but the Commission should not give in to any challenge in the fight against corruption. In fact, the offence of unexplained wealth is not as difficult to prove as some other corruption offences. By the nature of the elements of the offence, the Commission only needs to prove the result of the corrupt acts, such as the purchase of expensive property and other high value assets in spite of a modest income. The onus is therefore on the accused to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that his Page 9 wealth or resources were legitimately acquired. In as much as the fight against corruption has been intensified, it is my view that there can be no better time to unleash the offence of unexplained wealth than now. It will open the floodgate of recovery of illicit wealth and serve as a strong deterrent to corruption. The time is now. Joel Tejan Deen - Tarawally Esq., ACC Prosecutor
5. Page 5 Contd from Pg 2 a year, the Commission had recorded close to one hundred percent conviction rate, recovered over Eighteen Billion Leones and Government property misappropriated. Mr Jawara said that despite the challenges faced by the Commission, the gains made in the past months showed that the fight against corruption is winnable and that what is actually required was the cooperation of public officers in resisting and rejecting corruption. Mr Jawara informed public officers that the gains made in the fight against corruption has been acknowledged by international ratings, such as the Afrobarometer and the recently published Millennium Challenge Corporation Scorecard, making Sierra Leone eligible for a compact fund that could be up to hundreds of millions of dollars. He concluded by saying that another gain in the fight against corruption is the 2019 Anti - Corruption Amendment Bill (now signed by the President) which seeks to make corruption a very expensive enterprise for those who engaged in it. Dilating on the key provisions in the Act, Abu - Bakarr Sannoh, Resident Prosecutor for the Commission, said it was made to deter corruption and aid in prosecuting same successfully. He pointed out that key features in the amendment Act are the stiffer penalties for those convicted of corruption and new offenses and provisions for recovery of stolen public funds and properties. He specifically noted that restitution was now mandatory, which, he says, was perhaps one of the best provisions in the new Act . In her remarks, Ceceilia C. Koroma of the Sierra Leone Police in Jendema said the visit by the ACC was a laudable venture especially when they were educated on the provisions of the Anti - Corruption Amendment Act, 2019. She said such meetings should be frequent as they serve as a reminder to public officers in staying sincere to their jobs and would also infuse a sense civic and moral responsibility to all that the fight against corruption is a national fight. Question and Answer session climaxed the engagement. T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), in collaboration with the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), on December 7, 2019, held an interfaith prayer session in commemoration of the International Anti - Corruption Day, 2019. The ceremony, which was held at the Taylor Cummings Garden, Cotton Tree, Freetown, brought together Christian and Muslim faithfull to offer prayers for the country‘s strides in the fight against corruption. Clerics at the event also used the opportunity to offer prayers for the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq, his Deputy Augustine Foday Ngobie and the entire Management and staff of the Commission for God‘s direction and guidance in the anti - corruption crusade. Speaking at the event, the ACC Commissioner said, as a man of faith, he believes there is a spiritual aspect to the fight against corruption. He said the campaign needs enormous courage and fortitude, which God Almighty alone can provide. The Executive Director of CARL Ibrahim Tommy said, most people in Sierra Leone are believers of Christianity or Islam, adding that it is good that followers of the two religions worship together in a bid to show the acclaimed religious tolerance the country is known for. The Chief Imam of Hamdallah Masjid, Sheikh Abubakarr Conteh, made reference to several passages in the Quran which condemn corruption and those who engage in it. He described corruption as a sinful act, for which people will be held accountable in the hereafter if they do not turn away from such practices. Representing the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown, Most Rev. Dr.Edward Tamba Charles, Reverend Fr. Vincent Davies, said the fight against corruption is a divine campaign. He said people cannot pro- fess to be good Christians and then engage in acts of corruption. The event, which was chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of Life By Design, Joe Abass Bangura, also saw performances by both Muslim and Christian entertainment groups. Religious Clerics praying for ACC Commissioner and Deputy
4. A s a major deliverable of the current leadership of the Commission, the Anti - Corruption Commission has on Thursday 17th October 2019, formally opened its new North - West Regional Office in Port Loko Town amidst great aplomb. Giving the welcome address at the well - attended ceremony, Deputy Commissioner of the ACC, Au- gustine Foday Ngobie, thanked all present for mak- ing it to the event which he termed as an epoch making one. Chairman of the occasion, Ibrahim Santigie Bangura, the Chairman of the Port Loko District Council, expressed gratitude to the ACC for extending the fight against corruption to this part of the country. He encouraged the regional office to bolster its public education drive, as more people are yet to come to terms with the dangers of corruption. Representing the Paramount Chief of Bakeh Loko Chiefdom, Adikali Mella II, Chiefdom Speaker, Chief Malapi M.A Tarawallie, stated that the people have long waited for this momentous day; and assured the ACC that the people are whole heartedly in support of the President's war on corruption, which, according to him, has held the destiny of the country to ransom. In his keynote address, Commissioner of the ACC, Francis Ben - Kaifala Esq. thanked the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio, for his unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption. He referred to the event as historic, in the sense that, the formal opening of the North - West regional office has sealed the establishment of the ACC all over the country. "Our country has suffered a lot under the myth that nothing can be done about corruption; I want to challenge you all that something can indeed be done in rescuing our country from the cancer of corruption. All that is required of us all is unity of purpose", he said. The Deputy Mayor of the Port Loko City Council, Zacharia Bangura, referred to the occasion as a new dawn in the region, and encouraged all to join the fight actively, efficiently as corporate members of the ACC. Councillor Hajaratu Kamara of Ward 234, Port Loko City, called on her colleague females to become players to clamp down on graft. "No nation can suc- ceed in its development aspirations with rampant corruption in the public sector, " she added. She reminded all of how corruption served as a major trigger to the ten year senseless and bloody war in our country; urging all to make a commitment to never again go down that path. The Resident Minister of the North - West, Hon. Haja Isata Abdulai, the distinguished Guest of Honour at the occasion representing His Excellency the President, did the formal opening of the new regional office. In her statement, she referred to the opening of the Port Loko Office as ―the beginning of end" of rampant corruption in the region and termed the ACC as ―a valuable partner" in President Bio's vision to transform Sierra Leone. The North - West Region, which covers Kambia, Karene and Port Loko Districts, is the fifth regional hub of the Commission; and was born out of the desire to bring the work of the ACC to the door step of the newly established Regional hub; and consistent with the ACC‘s strategic objective to making the ACC the People's Commission ensuring that all citizens are brought along in the national crusade against corruption. Page 4 Minister of North - West Region Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara cuts the tape to the new office, while ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq looks on
8. Page 8 officers who fail to submit their asset declaration forms or knowingly record false, inaccurate or misleading information in the forms; introduces trial of those accused of corruption in absentia; limits the scope of public officer to declare their assets and imposes sanctions for non - compliance; and vests in the ACC Commissioner power to direct that contracts with elements of corruption in their processing may not be proceeded with after agreement with the National Public Procurement Authority.‖ The President, Dr Julius Maada Bio, has signed the Bill into law. Conclusion: For a country once replete with the tales of rampant and unabated corruption, which has been the biggest inhibiting factor to poverty alleviation; and resultantly placed us at the bottom of every serious developmental index, thereby leading the citizenry to lose hope in the ability of successive Governments to deliver on their basic obligation of developing the country and improving citizens‘ lives, our groundbreaking progress in this recently published MCC Scorecard for the Control of Corruption, coupled with our unprecedented National resolve to clamp down on graft — which is pivotal to the New Direction Agenda of the President Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio, a President knitted with love and patriotism in his elements — continues to inspire ―New Hope‖ among citizens and Africa as a whole; and sets the country on the right trajectory towards economic and social resuscitation. The country is also rapidly gaining respectability amongst the community of Nations as one determined to break away from the past and reinvent itself. In all, the Commission has become that real spectre of hope and transformation and exemplary leadership for the country and Africa. The Young and Vibrant Commissioner leading the fight, against all odds, continues to inspire confidence and support from all sections; and it is believed that Sierra Leone will continue to trailblaze in the fight against corruption with spectacular results for the country as a whole. What began fourteen months ago as an initial stream of progress in the fight against corruption, is now rapidly transforming to a flood of improvements and successes for Sierra Leone. A t the Extraordinary General Assembly convened by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) of the Net- work of National Anti - Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) held in Lome - Togo from the 5th - 6th November 2019, the Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. was unanimously endorsed to serve as the new President and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Network comprising 15 West African Countries. Charged with this responsibility, Commissioner Kaifala - who happens to be the youngest Commissioner on the Continent, will be the President of the regional Association and Chairman of the Executive Committee. He will be the face, voice and principal representative of the Association in ECO- WAS and other Global bodies and shall lead in the at- tainment of the objectives of the Association as man- dated by ECOWAS. He shall work closely with the Permanent Secretariat of the Network in Dakar, Sene- gal and preside over all Executive Committee Meet- ings and General Meetings for the next one year. The 15 - Member Association was established by ECO- WAS Resolution to spearhead efforts of ensuring trans- parency and accountability in West Africa; it brings to- gether Heads of National Anti - Corruption institutions that have the mandate to fight corruption in the respective West African Countries. Anti - Corruption Agencies in West Africa pose for a photo with new Head, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq of the ACC Contd from Pg 7
2. Page 2 T he President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr Julius Maada Bio on December 9, 2019 addressed the Nation in commemoration of this year‘s International Anti - Corruption Day. The Day is observed across the World to bring Governments‘ attention to the dangers of corruption and the urgency to combat this menace. It also provides an opportunity to raise public awareness and promote international cooperation on the fight against corruption. The President reminded Sierra Leoneans about the dangers of corruption, which has ―caused us untold sufferings, including the brutal decade - long civil war. Over the years, corruption has also undermined our economic development, discouraged foreign direct investment, perverted the Rule of Law, negatively affected service delivery to citizens and ruined our country‘s international reputation.‖ President Bio said something urgent needed to be done to combat the scourge, warning that ―those who engage in corruption, no matter their affiliation or position, will face the full force of the law.‖ The President praised the work done by his Government and the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) under the leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. in waging an uncompromising war against corruption. He outlined some of the gains made in the fight against corruption in the last two years, including the 79 percent pass secured in the area of Control of Corruption in the MCC Scorecard and the ranking of his Government‘s effectiveness in controlling corruption among the best three in Africa by Transparency International‘s Afro Barometer Report 2019. ―In almost two years under my Administration, the ACC has been able to recover over Eighteen Billion Leones from corrupt individuals. Crucially also, vehicles and properties acquired from corrupt proceeds are being returned to the state. Additionally, a Special Anti - Corruption Division has been established to try corruption cases with greater speed and efficiency. And the Anti - Corruption Commission recorded a very high conviction rate of all cases it charged to court in 2019,‖ the President remarked. The President also spoke of the more powers he has recently given to the Commission: ―It is also important to note that, I have given my assent to the Anti - Corruption Amendment Act, 2019, which seeks to close the gaps that existed in the 2008 Act and to produce greater results. The objective of this Law is to make corruption a very risky and costly enterprise for those who engage in it.‖ President Bio called on Sierra Leoneans to unite to say NO to corruption. ―Let us see corruption as a common enemy. Let us despise corruption and detest those who engage in it. Let us resist, reject and report all forms of corruption to the Anti - Corruption Commission. This is because, the fight against corruption is not just the responsibility of the Anti - Corruption Commission, but also, it is the duty of each and every citizen.‖ T he Southern Regional Office of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) on the 28 th November 2019, engaged Heads and Representatives of public Institutions deployed at the Sierra Leone - Liberia border town of Jendema on general corruption issues, including the prospects of the Anti - Corruption Amendment Act, 2019 in making corruption a fruitless and vain enterprise. The meeting was held at the Jendema Divisional Post of the Sierra Leone Police and attracted several public workers from the Police, Immigration Department, the National Revenue Authority, National Minerals Agency, school authorities and the military. Updating public officers on the gains and strides made by the Commission in the fight against corruption, ACC‘s Regional Manager in Bo Musa Jawara said, in just over A Cross Section of public officers and the ACC Team pose for the camera outside the Police Station in Jendema Contd pg 5
7. Page 7 cases brought before the courts in the past 18 months, bar the SLFA ruling which is currently awaiting hearings from the appeal filed in by the Commission -- the total fine recorded for 2018 is just about Le138,000,000 (One Hundred and Thirty - Eight Million Leones) — which is less than 5% of the sums recovered from settlement agreements made out of court with those who have admitted to have misappropriated public funds and agreed with the Commission to pay back in full, otherwise referred to as Non - Conviction Asset - Based Recovery. It would be understandable if custodial sentences were being imposed but that stands at zero for 2018. An overwhelming majority of Sierra Leoneans thus welcome this practical strategy as a tool to complement efforts in court - this claim backed by gains made in previous perception surveys that gauges the levels of endorsement from citizens on the fight against corruption, and International Approval -- like the just published MCC Scorecard. This strategy is among the strongest in the World for tackling corruption. Preventive Mechanisms: The Commission has conducted extensive Systems and Processes Reviews across different Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view to identifying corruption vulnerabilities and later recommending policies to address or pin those existing loopholes. For instance, in February 2019, the Prevention Department of the ACC did a comprehensive review on the health sector and published a report titled: ―Strengthening Integrity in the Management of Drugs and Oth- er Medical and Related Services in Government Medical Fa- cilities‖. The Commission also recently launched a report titled ̳Review of Practices and Procedures of the Freetown City Council‖ which highlighted several systems weaknesses at the Council, covering the period 2015 to 2018. Key in these reports is recommendations to address these corruption vulnerabilities. Public Education Additionally, extensive Public Education and Outreach measures have been instituted by the ACC within the past 18 months to teach the public on the evils of corruption and to enlist the necessary support in the effort to defeating the scourge. In December 2018, the ACC brought in the highly re- spected African and Global Anti - graft Crusader, Professor P.L.O Lumumba who delivered a resounding Public Lecture that was met by great aplomb by thousands of citizens at the Adjai Crowther Amphi - theater at Fourah Bay College. All the- se have made corruption awareness and perception to take center stage in citizens‘ discourses and engagements on gov- ernance with tremendous results on their perception. Convictions The Commission remains highly involved in its court led ap- proach as a tool to ensuring corruption control. A Special divi- sion of the High Court has been established to try cor- ruption cases and five dedicated judges have been designated to hear and speedily dispose of corruption cases. Conviction rates remain high and there are currently over 40 active corruption cases in court. The judiciary has started showing the "right posture" to- wards handling corruption cases with heftier fines, custodial sentences and speed now consistently being injected in corruption cases. Innovative Strategies and Approach The Fourth Generation National Anti - Corruption Strategy recently launched by the Honorable Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh, places enforcement of the Laws in the Anti - Corruption Act -- which are among the strongest in the World — at the heart of the operation of the Commission for the next five years (2019 - 2023). An overwhelming majority of Sierra Leoneans now believe that the stage is finally set for the rebirth of our nation. Consistent with Section 10 of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008, the ACC has established several partnerships with various government institutions, and civil society organizations, including the Public Sector Reform Unit, Office of the Ombudsman, CHRDI - Centre for Human Rights and Development International, the Financial Intelligence Unit, Youth Against Corruption, Chosen Generation, Fix Solution and Citizens Advocacy Network. The Anti - Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2019 On Thursday 31st October 2019, the Sierra Leone Parliament passed the Anti - Corruption Amendment Act 2019. As stated in a press release by the Commission, ―the Amendment Act provides for, among other things, increased penalties for offences under the Act; strengthens protection for witnesses and whistleblowers; provides the ACC with alternatives to prosecution; widens the scope of corruption to include that the accused ̳offered‘, ̳solicited‘, ̳obtained‘ or ̳received‘ in addition to ̳gave and accepted‘ an advantage; reduces the year - long requirement that persons who cease to be public officers have to file a declaration in respect of their assets; provides for administrative sanctions for public Contd Pg 8
3. Page 3 EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Abubakar Turay EDITORS Margaret Murray Moris Ibrahim Kanteh LAYOUT & GRAPHICS Philippa M Davies EDITORIAL ADVISERS Patrick Sandi Emmanuel Koivaya Amara Alhassan Kargbo T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) on Friday 8th November 2019 met with top officials of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) from Ghana and Nigeria. The delegation under the directive of the Registrar to Council in Nigeria was in Si- erra Leone to study the internal procedures of how Sierra Leonean staff working for the Council have been handling the conduct of public examinations in the country; how it has managed its duties over the years to help Sier- ra Leone achieve its goals set by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Educa- tion (MBSSE), including how they relate with the public, relevant stakeholders, and how the- se stakeholders interplay to also enable the council achieve its mandate in the West African sub - Region Welcoming the delegation headed by the Senior Deputy Registrar, WAEC - Nigeria, Mrs. Comfort Ola Agwu, Deputy Commissioner Au- gustine Foday Ngobie expressed delight over the visit, describing it as 'a meeting long over- due', since the ACC has been expectant to meeting with the Council‘s Regional body. He said the Commission has under its hand - sev- eral burning issues bordering on the conduct of Public exams by WAEC - Sierra Le- one, maintaining that the ACC, believing in the goodwill of the present Government of Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio for the introduction of the 'Free Quality School Education (FQSE)', which by itself is to redeem the country‘s staggering educational sector, has as part of its mandate, a crucial role to play by working with stakeholders to ensure and enhance a corrupt - free educational sector of Sierra Leone ―There is no way, Sierra Leone can move and competently compete at the International level without properly passing exams set by WAEC, the more reason why the ACC believes that the manner in which public exams have been conducted over the years, warrants the Commission‘s intervention as a serious and responsible Anti - Graft agency to closely monitor all exams conducted by the council‖, DC Ngobie said. He further described the conduct of external exams by WAEC as appalling, and called on the Council for an urgent review of its efforts in- cluding the willingness of the ACC to share with the delegation, its findings on a number of allegations against the Council On her part, the Senior Deputy Registrar of WAEC - Nigeria, Mrs. Agwu said even though their visit was prompted by several underlying factors, but key among them was to seek audience with the commission, recalling the ACC‘s efforts in clamping down on examinations malpractice across Sierra Leone Consequently, the ACC shared its findings with the delegation following a fruitful discussion at the conference room of the Commission‘s 3 Gloucester Street Office in Freetown The WAEC delegation also included the Acting Senior Deputy Registrar, WAEC - Ghana, Mr C.K Osafo, Head of Administration Division, WAEC - Ghana, Mr. Paapa Brew and Head, Legal Department, WAEC - Nigeria, Mrs. Nkem Otoborkeyan. ACC Deputy Commissioner Augustine Foday - Ngobie and the WAEC Delegation from Ghana and Nigeria
6. T he latest Millennium Corporation Challenge (MCC) Scorecard report published on Friday, 1st No- vember 2019, has seen Sierra Leone register an extraordinary 79% out of a possible 100% -- its biggest ever rating -- in the country‘s effort in the control of corruption since the establishment of the Anti - Corruption Commission some 19 years ago and the first back to back pass since the rating began. The MCC Control of Corruption Scorecard, which is the brainchild of the American Government, was established in 2004 for the Recognition and Rewarding of low - income countries making substantial efforts towards ending poverty and achieving economic growth. This recent MCC publication is the Seventh Edition; and is calculated by the World Governance Indicators -- World Bank. The period reviewed on this year‘s scorecard is November 2018 - November 2019. Control of Corruption Indicator – an index of surveys and expert assessments that rate countries on their abilities to reduce: ―grand corruption‖ in the political arena; the frequency of petty corruption; the effects of corruption on the business environment; the tendency of elites and private interests to engage in ―state capture‖; the strength and effectiveness of a country‘s policy and institutional framework to prevent and combat corruption; among other things, occupies a prominent place among the indicators that makes up the scorecard. Last year, Sierra Leone came from a failing position of 49% in 2017 to score a record - breaking 71% for Corruption Control which massively surpassed the 10 - year Global Average Score for Developing Countries. The Control of Corruption score compares Sierra Leone‘s relative performance to other countries in the Lower Income Category which includes Countries like Liberia and Ethiopia. This year‘s exponential improvement on last year‘s score, which is consistent with improvements in other Perception Indexes like the Transparency International Afro - barometer Perception Survey which placed Sierra Leone 3rd in Africa on Citizen‘s Perception in our national efforts to clamp down on graft, unarguably justifies the ongoing Revolutionary and Radical Transparency Approach by the ACC in leading the fight against corruption that was declared by President Julius Maada Bio, which the Francis Ben Kaifala led ACC is leading; and positions the country on an irreversible path to sustainably control corruption; and sets a new trajectory for good governance and development. In the just published scorecard, Sierra Leone is one of the top ten performers in the Lower Income countries. In the Mano River Union (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cote d‘Iv- oire), Sierra Leone is the best performer for this year; with an increase from 71% to 79% (8 percentage points). The improvement in the score is actually 11.3 percent (8’71)×100) higher than last year (2018). Of the 16 sub sources that make up the control of corruption indicator, there were improvements in seven (7) and a decline in one (1). Since Sierra Leone became compact eligible in 2012, this is the first time the country has passed the Control of Corruption twice in a row; and has made the country compact eligible this year and positions it to win a whooping Six Hundred Million Dollars ($600,000,000) in contracts Several innovative approaches incorporated by the Anti - Corruption Commission — some of which are highlighted below -- coupled with the dogged patriotism; determination and sense of common purpose of the staff of the ACC in the fight against corruption, the enormous Presidential/political will and the support of the people have necessitated this groundbreaking progress: Non - Conviction Asset Based Recovery : Under the Non - Conviction Asset Based Asset Recovery, the Anti - Corruption Commission has recovered a little over Eighteen Billion Leones (close to $ 2 Million) in the past 18 months alone -- which is more than total of what the Commission had recovered throughout the past 18 years of its existence. The above money had been presented to President Bio, who has made a firm commitment to using the said funds to facilitate the construction of the country‘s first ever diagnostic centre. Additionally, this strategy has saved the Commission from inundating the courts with corruption cases, some of which have been before the courts for several months and years (the 50th Independence Anniversary corruption case, for example, has taken eight years without judgment) in courts in 2018 -- having won all the. Comparatively, despite the close to 100% conviction rate Page 6 Moris I Kanteh, Communications Officer
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