By Emperor Bailor Jalloh Journalist in Freetown
The Anti – Corruption Commission ( ACC) of the Republic of Sierra Leone was established in the year 2000 as an independent institution to lead in the fight against and control of corruption through prevention, investigation, prosecution and public education. It has powers to investigate and punish corruption in addition to other related tools useful to detect, suppress, control and eradicate corruption. Therefore, the ACC under the brave and unique stewardship of Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala ( Esq) is vehemently eyeing the brighter future of Sierra Leone for posterity to come with real commitment and dedication in the fight against corruption in this beleaguered nation. ” Fighting corruption is the biggest emergency issue for Sierra Leone”. Francis Ben Kaifala.
As the ACC needs the full cooperation of every citizen as a civic responsibility, Section 13 ( Duties of the citizen) paragraph c, in the Sierra Leone Constitution Act No. 6, 1991 states it clearly. ” Protect and preserve public property and prevent the misappropriation and squandering of funds belonging to the Government, local authorities or public corporations “. Eyeing the brighter future of Sierra Leone by the ACC, the following achievements of the Commission are worth considering: On October 11, 2021, ACC presented its 2020 Annual Report to President Bio in State House, Tower Hill in Freetown, in compliance with Section 19 ( 1) of the ACC Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. Presenting the 2020 Annual Report to President Bio, the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq thanked the President for his unwavering support to the Commission. ” Your Excellency, even with Covid – 19, we continue to do our work for the people of Sierra Leone. We thank you for your support and we are appreciative of it “.
The 2020 Annual Report covers but is not limited to the work and activities of the Commission in 2020, especially in the areas of; public education, prevention, assets declaration, national strategy implementation, intelligence, investigation and prosecution. In 2020 also, the ACC was able to recover Eight Billion Leones ( Le 8, 000,000,000) from corrupt persons and secured over 90% convictions rate from cases investigated and charged to court. The Commission also conducted massive systems and processes reviews of public offices as well as public education and outreach activities nationwide. 2020, was also a year Sierra Leone scored 81% in the indicator on ‘Control of Corruption’ in the Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC) scorecard and ranked 117 out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Afro Barometer also recorded a drop in corruption prevalence from 70% to 40%; all of which are new high progression of Sierra Leone.
In 2019, the Corruption Perception Index ( CPI) the country registered its highest score of 129 in 2018 to 119 in 2019, and 117 in 2020. The Afro Barometer Corruption Perception Survey Report indicates that the fight against corruption has moved from 40% in 2015, to 66% in 2019. In 2020, Citizens’ Perception of corruption prevalence reduced from 70% in 2015 to 40% in 2020. The National Corruption Perception Survey in 2019 also indicates that 92% of respondents believed that the ACC is deeply rooted in the fight against corruption.
Conclusively, the aforementioned achievements of the ACC indicate that for the ACC and the future of Sierra Leone, there is light at the end of the tunnel.