NEWSLETTER 28TH EDITION FOR 17TH JULY, 2018
5. Page 6 Page 7 T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has engaged stakeholders in Blama, Small Bo Chiefdom and Sendumei in the Niawa Chiefdom in Kenema District on the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign. The stakeholders included paramount chiefs and other chiefdom leaders, heads of primary and secondary schools in the two chiefdoms, members of community teachers associations and school management committees, police officers, health workers, bike riders, drivers and religious leaders. Public Education Officer of the ACC, Sylvanus Blake said that Kenema District has been one of the most reporting districts, as thousands of people have made complaints of bribery in the public sector through the PNB reporting platforms. He also acknowledged that the reports also included those who have called to commend public officers for effective service delivery. He said this has provided the ACC and its partners with information on where and how corruption and petty bribery thrive. Mr. Blake said that the gains made in addressing cases of briber under the campaign have been unprecedented; noting that if the current trend is maintained, it will be very difficult and unprofitable for public officers to get involved in corruption. Key among the gains and actions taken by the MDAs are the banning of all Saturday classes in schools, regulation of all school charges to a uniformed amount across Kenema District, removal of all unapproved/unauthorized checkpoints, bail conditions made more public to discourage the payment of bribes for bail, development of service delivery charters for the MDAs, establishment of complaint hotlines and desks in MDAs, including customer care services, to name but a few. He encouraged the public to be vigi- lant in ensuring that these gains and actions are not reversed. Sam P. Gogra, Education Officer of the ACC, also encouraged the public to partner with the ACC in the fight against corruption. He said members of the communities should continue to support the PNB campaign to succeed. A representative from the Network Movement for Justice and Development, Emmanuel Aruna demonstrated to the audience how they can make complaints via both the PNB application and the 515 free lines, which provide for complaints to be made in the local languages of Mende and Temne. The Honorable Paramount Chief of Small Bo Chief Mohamed Dafie Benya IV, who referred to himself as a close follower of the PNB campaign, expressed delight and admiration at the gains recorded under the campaign over the last few years. He admonished the ACC, MDAs and the community people to ensure sustainability of the gains. Deputy Director Patrick Sandi handing over PNB posters to the Headteacher of the School for the Deaf Mrs. Kamara - Cole T he Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) has, under the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign, rekindled the hopes of persons living with disabilities (PWDs) at the Milton Margai School for the Blind and the National School for Deaf and Dumb; by expressing its commitment to integrate them in the campaign, as they formed an important aspect of society. This commitment was made by ACC Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi during sensitization meetings at the National School for the Deaf and Dumb and the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Freetown on 15th May and 18th May, 2018 respectively. Mr. Sandi underscored ACC’s recognition of people with disabilities in the fight against bribery and small scale corruption for which reason it was soliciting their support. He said some people or organizations may want to take advantage of their disabilities to exploit them, that was why the ACC was empowering them to use the PNB 515 free line and report bribery experiences when accessing social services from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). “The objective of the PNB is to improve service delivery, therefore, all categories of the Sierra Leonean public should support this initiative of Government funded by DFID and GoSL”, the Deputy Director emphasized. Mr. Sandi furthered that, MDAs have taken positive actions/measures to deal with bribery complaints made on the PNB reporting platform. Mr Sandi explaining the PNB campaign and gains made so far at the School for the Blind In her presentation on the importance of the meetings, ACC’s Communications Consultant Olabisi Olu - Garrick said the engagements were meant to increase and deepen the knowledge of persons with disabilities on the PNB, as they were very critical to the anti - bribery campaign. She emphasized that ACC will continue to work with these institutions and lauded the administrations for their dedicated service to mankind. In their statements at the meetings, the Head Teachers Winifred Kamara - Cole of the School for the Deaf and Dumb and Salieu Turay of the School for the Blind registered their support to the PNB campaign, noting it is an enviable initiative to tackle bribery and petty corruption, but stressed that ACC should collaborate with the Government to ensuring that MDAs are provided the needed resources timely to deliver on their mandates. ACC officers at the engagements
4. Page 9 A team from the World Bank Country Office on Tuesday 5 th June, 2018 paid a visit to the Anti - Corruption Commission to assess the progress of the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign and the Social Safety Net (SSN) project.The ACC is handling the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of the SSN project. ACC SECURES CONVICTION IN BO The High Court of Sierra Leone Holden in Bo, presided over by the Honourable Justice M.A.J. Stevens, on 30th June 2018 sentenced John Nabie to one year imprisonment or a fine of Twenty Million Leones (Le 20,000,000). Nabie was convicted on four counts of corruption related offences viz: two counts of soliciting an advantage contrary to section 35(1) of Anti - Corruption Act (ACA) No. 12 of 2008; and two counts of accepting an advantage contrary to section 35(1) of AC Act 2008. Delivering his verdict, the Judge stated that the act of the accused was contrary to the AC Act of 2008 and that the Commission has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt; therefore “the court orders that the sentence of imprisonment runs concurrently and the fines run consecutively.” Effectively, the accused will pay a cumulative fine of Le20, 000,000 or serve one year imprisonment. Some time in September 2015, the convict John Nabie, a resident of Bumpe Town, Ngao Chiefdom in Bo, Southern Province of Sierra Leone, at Bumpe Town solicited and accepted an advantage in the sum of one hundred thousand Leones from beneficiaries of a project called ‘Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net’ being implemented by National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) to ease the plight of families affected by the Ebola scourge in their communities. The State was represented by Nigel B.E. Davies Esq. and Adrian B.C. Samuels Esq. whilst the defendant was represented by Patrick N. John Bull Esq. Welcoming the team from World Bank, Deputy Commissioner of ACC Shollay Davies thanked them for their support to both the PNB campaign and the SSN project. Mr. Davies further said that one of the issues over the years was the multiplicity of the reporting platforms for the PNB, SSN and the ACC general corruption cases. He noted with concern that the consultants for the PNB, Coffey International, were no longer able to fulfill their commitment to develop the ERP system and called on the World Bank to intervene. ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is a system to integrate business processes and facilitate the flow of information within an organisation so business activities can be data - driven. The system, when developed, will integrate the SSN, PNB and the ACC reporting channels into one reporting platform, as well as other administrative support to the Commission. Social Protection Specialist at the Bank Dr. Abu Kargbo expressed satisfaction over ACC’s handling of the Grievance Redress Mechanism component of the SSN project. He pledged the Bank’s continued support to the Commission, including the reporting platforms integration process. political or otherwise, you label it as corruption. When people divert attention from the real issues and focus on issues that are not relevant, that is a way of trivialising corruption. You trivialise corruption when you use it as a weapon to castigate other people; whereas the evidence is there. Let me give you an example, [when you see] a whole series of newspapers with their negative reports, that doesn't mean all newspapers are bad. Some newspapers are good, some reporters and journalists are good. I had an example recently of this trivialisation from one of our national newspapers 'The Punch newspaper'; they claimed that a government policy where we give incentives to industries or business people to spur them to invest in the economy was a bunch of corruption. Yes, in the past it wasn't a good policy, we had people who came and got particular incentives to spur their businesses and it gave them an undue advantage over others. We call them waivers and exemptions. They will get an advantage and their businesses will get an advantage because they had a particular exemption to give them an incentive to do their job. So two years ago, we looked at this and in the economic management team in Nigeria the president totally agreed that this doesn't work very well, and it gives an undue advantage, creates an unequal playing field. We decided that we will reform it, so that we can decide: what are the sources of growth, which sectors are likely to help the economy the most? And then we will grant these exemptions and incentives within those sectors. The key is that anybody working with this sector is entitled to get this exemption. So we reformed and it is still in the process of strengthening and reforming. It is not perfect, but it has come a long way, now this is a whole new sectoral policy. So, when the newspaper wrote an editorial and said this was corruption. We pointed out that, “Yes, in the past, it wasn't good but now we have been running a different system for two years.” They dared us to publish those who got these waivers; and guess what? Last week we sent it to them; yes we did. But you know what? They refused to even look at it. And they continued to insist that this was excess bite of corruption. Why am I telling this story? It is because if you spend enough time trivialising an issue when the evidence is in front of you, then you are not doing a good service. Now, I want to delve into one more aspect which is also an important issue. That is an aspect of one of the underlying sources or roots of corruption, which we don't usually talk about very much. I want the young people on the continent to truly think about it, it is about how we finance our democracy and finance our elections. We all want democracy in our countries; we have worked very hard on the continent to have this. So many countries now practice multi - party democracy; we now conduct elections. It's the only form of governance that can allow a voice for the people. Have you ever thought of how elections are financed? No country has been able to crack this problem. In the US they have conversation about campaign finance and they've tried to reform it; they've got a system, but I'm sure they will admit it's not perfect; even in the UK and so many other countries. But at least they are having a conversation about it, isn't it? And they are talking about what to do to make it better. In the continent of Africa, how many of you have thought about this issue whether we are doing it right, has anyone even thought about this? To me one of the root causes of corruption in the continent is the way we finance or do not finance elections properly. We have adopted systems that demand that politicians' campaign, haven't we? Campaigns cost money. But where does that money come from? If we don't find a legitimate means of supporting campaigns, then all sorts of ways are found to do this. It could be, as I said before, engaging business people who support an individual, a system or a party and then later on, they have to be rewarded through contracts or other means that may actually not help but undermine the economy and develop- ment. Let me end by saying this, we must take personal responsibility for these issues. Too often I see Page 4 Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies making a statement at the meeting with the World Bank Team.
3. Page 10 people think it's them or someone else, or the government or that other person. On Twitter, I get lots of messages that say, “Why don't you do this or why don't you do that?” Well you know what I said, the reason I came back to government was because I felt even if the environment is difficult and there is only one little thing I can do to plug a hole, solve a problem even if it's small, it is meaningful. If there is one little thing you can do, don't shy away. If you can come into government and help solve something, don't think someone else is there to solve it for you. If you can do it from civil society, and I mean legitimate civil society, not those who are saying they are civil society but are doing something else. If you can solve it as a civil society, if you can solve it from the media; if as a media person you can observe principles and say you are not for sale and tell the truth; if you can use this means to galvanise action, please do it. It is you who have to take responsibility, I have to take responsibility. We can't leave it to someone else, we have to take responsibility. If you can do it from civil society, and I mean legitimate civil society, not those who are saying they are civil society but are doing something else. If you can solve it as a civil society, if you can solve it from the media; if as a media person you can observe principles and say you are not for sale and tell the truth; if you can use this means to galvanise action, please do it. It is you who have to take responsibility, I have to take responsibility. We can't leave it to someone else, we have to take responsibility. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. to public scrutiny and public accountability, or who in themselves lack vitamins of morality and self - probity. In the last ten years or so, some heads of state have displayed and continue to evince a political attitude that exhibits commitment to the fight against corruption, attracting wide attention both at home and abroad about their desires to eliminate suspicion of bribery and action to stamp out rumours of malfeasance around their administrations. They have not only opened their wardrobes for public viewing, but have insisted that their cabinets and other senior administrative staff unlock their closets. For example, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Macky Sall, and John Magufuli mustered the political attitude to make their asset declarations public. A departure from the state of affairs in the continent! This disposition may not account for a rounded success or achievement in their efforts to tackle the bane, but does represent an act unpleasant and fatalistic to many of their counterparts in Africa, including Sierra Leone. However, the New Direction of President Maada Bio aspires to offer new path, fresh hope, and renewed interest directing the political course in the fight against corruption. It aspires to provide the political will – creating an environment for public disclosure of assets, incomes and liabilities; and setting the tone and pace for evaluating progress, identifying opportu- nities, and overcoming challenges. The broad goals on socio - economic trajectory carved out in the New Direction will be achieved when the fight against corruption is understood by public and non public officers, and is implemented alongside development programmes, and in the delivery of services. P resident Julius Maada Bio on Thursday 28th June 2018 at State House handed over to the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC) his completed and sworn Assets Declaration Form. This is in line with Section 119(1) of the Anti - Corruption Act (ACA) 2008, which stipulates that; "Every public officer shall, within three months of becoming a public officer, deposit with the Commission a sworn declaration of his income, assets and liabilities...and also while leaving office." Whilst handing over his form to the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., the President said “Every public officer like me is compelled by law to declare their assets but besides that, I want to lead by example and ensure that it is done within the stipulated time. As President, I think it is good to lead by example. I hope others will follow”. The ACC Commissioner thanked the President for leading by example and for treating the assets declaration exercise with the seriousness that it deserves. In a similar exercise, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Monday 2 nd July, 2018, submitted his sworn Assets Declaration Form to the Commission. A short ceremony was held at his Office where he sub- mitted the Form to the Deputy Commissioner of ACC, Shollay Davies. Meanwhile, the ACC, on 4 th July, 2018, issued a public notice reminding all Public Officers and former Public Officers of their duty under the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 to declare their assets, income and liabilities to the Commission. Section 119 (3) of the Act provides that: “In the case of every person who ceases to be a Public Officer, at any time after the commencement of this Act, on the first anniversary of the date on which he ceases to be a public officer he shall file in respect of his assets, income and liabilities, covering the period from the date of his last declaration to the date on which he is required by this paragraph to furnish a declaration”. The notice adds that Public Officers and former Public Officers who have not complied with the declaration process are further reminded of Section 122 (a) of the ACA 2008, which stipulates that; it is an offence if a Public Officer fails to declare his/her assets, and upon conviction will pay a fine of not less than Twenty Million Leones (Le20, 000,000) or imprisonment for a term not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment. The Commission says it will invoke the penal code on all current and former Public Officers who fail to declare their assets in accordance with the Anti - Corruption Act 2008. His Excellency, The President - Rt. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio Page 3 The concept of political will is a fluid one that underpins institutional aspirations to deliver on set goals. Brinker off (2000) understands political will to be commitment of actors to undertake actions or achieve a set of objectives and to sustain the cost of those actions over time. The New Direction highlights several proposed actions for implementation under the caption ‘Fighting Corruption and Improving Accountability’, and I shall focus on asset declaration. It aspires to review the AC Act to expunge the secrecy clause in respect of asset declaration. In essence it seeks to make asset declaration public. The debate to make asset declaration public has become more intense in the last ten years in countries across Africa, and the lead drivers of this discourse are civil society organizations (CSOs). It will be too early to say their advocacy may have fallen on deaf ears. The belief CSOs hold is that the degree of political will varies from one government to the other; therefore, continuity in mounting advocacies in successive political dispensations can result in a success much as it may result in a failure. Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Liberia and Sierra Leone have enacted laws that address corruption. Sections in these laws speak to asset declaration. For example in Sierra Leone, Part VIII of the Anti - Corruption Act of 2008 deals with Integrity in Public Life, encompassing declaration of assets, incomes, and liabilities. But CSOs will still demand more from political authorities, in spite of impressive anti - corruption legislative frameworks in the continent, which in this respect will urge for asset declaration to be made public. Political authorities continue to find it unattractive, perhaps reprimanding, the decision to make asset declaration public. This attitude tends to support the will urge for asset declaration to be made public. Political authorities continue to find it unattractive, perhaps reprimanding, the decision to make asset declaration public. This attitude tends to support the view that there is a lack of institutional political will. Heads of state are largely surrounded by people opposed
2. Page 11 P resident Julius Maada Bio has vowed to set up a specialised anti - corruption division in the High Court of Sierra Leone to promote judicial specialization and expeditious trial of corruption cases. He made the statement on Thursday at the State Opening of Parliament. The President, whilst outlining his policy to tackle corruption in the country, described the scourge as rife in Sierra Leone, rebuking acts in the past when Government ministers were made to serve in public offices after being convicted for acts of corruption. tions of the annual audit report and “adopt a new framework to ensure accountability and transparency in the public sector in the form of a public sector transparency and accountability initiative to subject the public sector to more scrutiny.” The President made tackling corruption as one of his main election campaign pledges, and he has consistently voiced his zero tolerance position for corruption since he assumed office. The Commissioner of ACC Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. says steps for the setting up of the court are well underway. His Excellency, The President - Rt. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio “ My Government will treat corruption not only as a governance issue but also as a national security threat. It will therefore leave no stone unturned in its fight against corruption,” the President added. President Bio also said his administration will review section 119 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 to strengthen the ACC’s investigative and prosecutorial mandate, with respect to the audit reports tabled before Parliament by the Audit Service Sierra Leone. This, he said, is to ensure that the Commission can investigate issues in the audit reports without recourse to wait for parliamentary investiga- tions. The President also said his Government will ensure the full implementation of the recommenda - Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh hands over Assets Declaration Form to Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies Community outreach meeting in Rogbangba, Hastings, Western Rural District Pay No Bribe Outreach in Songo Town: Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Patrick Sandi addressing the audience Teachers and pupils at the ‘Seminar on the Development of Operations Manual for Integrity Clubs’ Meet the school campaign at the St Joseph’s Convent Junior Secondary School, Freetown Catching them young: Meet the school campaign at the Apex Primary School Radio discussion programme: staff of the Assets Declaration Unit educating the public about the assets declaration process Symposium on Common corruption issues in the educational sector’ for members of the Accountability Now Club, Fourah Bay College Page 2
6. Page 5 Page 8 Speaking for my country, we have to say, “Yes, we have problems”. Corruption undermines development in Nigeria and the continent at large. It deprives us of resources with which we can fight poverty and create wealth for people. When a civil servant demands under - the - table money for a service that they should deliver, they diminish the service and the people they serve; this is corruption. When a teacher demands sexual favours to give students high marks in an examination or to pass them, they diminish the students, they diminish themselves, they undermine education; they undermine development – this is corruption. When a public servant diverts resources from the state budget or national budget and siphons them abroad, removes them from doing the work and any good for the people. This is corruption on the part of the person embezzling public fund at home and also those receiving it abroad. When people steal our mineral wealth, be it crude oil or other natural resources in any of our countries on the continent and they divert and send it abroad; that is corruption on the part of those stealing and receiving. When a company illegally refuses to pay tax and finds clever ways to take out the profits and resources which they ought to pay in the country they are working, this is also corruption. It is also corruption for a business man to support a politician in return for inordinate access to contracts or resources. All of these undermine development and the very fabric of our society. But there is one thing I think is very important and that is what I call the 'trivialisation of corruption'. What do I mean by that? Trivialising corruption is going on mightily in some of our countries right now. You trivialise corruption when there is evidence that an act or a policy is legitimate and yet for your own purpose, either Nigeria's former Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo - Iweala I want to talk about a difficult topic, that topic is talked about by non - Africans and even more frequently by Africans themselves, and it has gotten so critical that when you mention the name Africa or even the name of my country Nigeria, the word 'corruption' rings, isn't it? I want to talk about corruption today, it's a difficult topic, it's a sensitive topic, but I think we are mature enough to talk about it. As the continent does better, as we have Africa rising and growing; we also struggle with issues of creating jobs. We have a long way to go, we are talking about growth, but we really need to grow faster to be able to make an appreciable dent on poverty. We need to create jobs and include those at the bottom of the ladder. We are struggling with so many problems; governance and issues on corruption are also inclusive. We need to highlight some of the root causes and have sensible conversation on these also. So, I am speaking for my continent, my country, and even for other countries globally. We have to admit that in most cases corruption is the problem. Corruption is not tagged to a particular set of people, whether in the UK, US, Nigeria, or other African countries. It exists in one form or the other and the issue is the set of laws and the will we have to fight it. S ince 1996, political administrations in Sierra Leone tend to produce a peculiar disposition strange to post 1996 governments – a political attitude that seems to abhor corruption. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report notes corruption as one of the factors that plunged this country into the abyss of a bloody civil war. The 1996 government of Ahmed Tejan Kabba, given its political and social misadventures, instituted a legislative and regulatory framework as a starting point to tackling graft. Kargbo (2011:221) observes that president Kabba took a giant step in the fight against corruption by enacting an anti - corruption act in 2000, bringing into existence the Anti - Corruption Commission. The 2000 Act was amended and replaced with the 2008 Act under the Ernest Bai Koroma government, conferring prosecutorial powers on the Commission. Political attitude towards corruption, more than anything else, seems to identify a government as a government that will score a political success or earn a political failure. This understanding finds basis in the argument that achievement in all the goals set out in the PRSP I, PRSP II, Agenda for Change and Agenda for Prosperity – the country’s former blueprint for economic recovery, so- cial development, and political maturity – hinged on the fight against corruption. There has to be an integrated approach where duty bearers initiate measures to strengthen administrative best practices in order to eliminate ‘intended and unintended wastage’ arising in the implementation of development programmes. Take for example in the manifesto of the government of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) entitled New Direction goals such as improving energy and improving transport. The key objective of the former is investment and domestic electrification and the latter movement of people and goods – achievement of which depends on enhancing a corrupt free environment for investment and for resource mobilization. No way will Sierra Leone provide constant electricity for its people without stamping out corruption at procurement for the very machines churning out electricity; and enforcing clean payment of bills by establishment, business, and domestic consumers for the very power they consume. No way will Sierra Leone make progress in infrastructural development when capital projects are overpriced three times or more than their usual cost – the unimaginably grandiose kickbacks plugged off find their way under the belt of the ‘big man’. And the effect of corruption, tenuously though, is in this nar- rative: “there is no place like Sierra Leone, where a man in a uniform thin to the bone, stops a man in the street and in god - fearing groan begs for cash or bread or for transport back home,” (quoted in TRC, Vol. 2:149). An excruciatingly debilitating condition! At this juncture, I wish to link the New Direction with the fight against corruption and attempt to appreciate how it can serve as a pillar for the National Anti - Corruption Strategy (NACS). NACS is a document informing and directing the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. The New Direction though is the manifesto of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party which embodies hopes and aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone and seeks to deliver on them. Whereas the New Direction contains broad aspirations to deliver on economic and social trajectory, NACS encapsulates streamlined approaches and targeted measures to achieving the said aspirations. Whereas the New Direction aspires to provide the impetus for driving actions, NACS identifies system weaknesses in MDAs and recommends mechanisms for overhaul. Whereas the New Direction seeks to provide a conducive environment for the fight against corruption; NACS mobilizes personnel, formulates partnerships, develops policies, integrates approaches; and channels resources for administering integrity in the workplace, compelling adherence to laid down policies, stimulating interest in the fight, and instituting punitive measures for breaking ad- ministrative procedures. In essence the New Direction is the political will. NACS recognizes political will as crucial and describes it as the most important element of an effective anti - corruption strategy. Without political will at the highest level, NACS says it is almost impossible to combat corruption effectively. In this regard, the New Direction must be devoted to make public commitment to driving initiatives that account for expression of political will. Contd.../Page 10
1. PUBLISHED BY THE AN TI - CORRUPTION COMMISSION Headquarters: 3, Gloucester Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa Hotline: 077 985 985 077 986 986 Airtel to Airtel - 161 Airtel to other network - 076394111 Website: firstname.lastname@example.org Bo Office address: 45, Kissy Town Road, Bo Email: email@example.com Makeni Office address: Mena Hill, Makeni Kenema Office address: Reservation Road, Off Maxwell Khobe Street, Kenema Kono Office: 37, Masingbi Road, 555 Spot, Koidu Issue 5 Volume 28 July, 2018 T he new Commissioner of the Anti - Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. has taken up office following his appointment by President Julius Maada Bio and Parliamentary approval. Mr. Kaifala subsequently took the oath of office before the President at State House on Wednesday 27 th June, 2018 where he committed himself to deal with the problem of corruption in Sierra Leone. The ACC Commissioner thanked President Bio for his appointment and vowed to serve with diligence and integrity. On Thursday 28 th June, 2018, Mr. Kaifala met with staff of the ACC and encouraged them to provide the needed support in a bid to advance the fight against corruption. The Commissioner then held his maiden press conference on Thursday 5 th July, 2018. At the conference, he declared war against corruption, with a vow that the fight against the scourge will never be the same again. “All the provisions of the Anti - Corruption Act 2008 will be treated seriously and we will not engage in shadow - boxing”, he added. Mr. Kaifala said that corruption has a way of fighting back and therefore called on the media to be on the side of the Commission. The ACC Commissioner used the event to unseal the indictments of former Vice President Victor BockarieFoh, former Secretary to the 2017 Hajj Committee, Sheka Sahid Kamara and former New ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Welfare Abu Bakarr Carew. A sealed indictment was filed against the three on June 12 this year for acts of corruption committed in the 2017 Hajj programme. Mr. Kaifala also informed the press that the Commission has widened the scope of the Hajj investigations and that it is possible that more people will be called in for questioning. On the Ebola matter, the ACC Commissioner said he has re - opened the investigations, stating that the Commission will look into the Special Audit Report on the Ebola and conduct a thorough investigation into the management of funds dedicated to fight the scourge. The Commissioner also announced that the Commission is investigating some officials of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) over the alleged misappropriation of one million Dollars meant to build a state - of - the - art hospital. Mr. Kaifala, who is bilingual (English and French), holds a Bachelor of Law Honors Degree LL.B (Hons) from the University of Sierra Leone, and was called to the Sierra Leone Bar in 2007. He also holds the interdisciplinary LLM (Master of Laws) in Law and Economics, jointly awarded by the School of Law and the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom. He has also recently completed and graduated with the LLM (Master of Laws in Comparative Constitutional Law, Administra- tive Law, and International Human Rights Law from the University of Texas at Austin in the United States of America. He was a senior partner in the Firm Kaifala, Kanneh & Co. - a law firm he co - founded, which in a short time has captured a huge market and reputed for quality service and speedy delivery. He is a lecturer of Law at Fourah Bay College.
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