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Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Center for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) today welcomed last week’s convictions of three former officials of the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat on corruption-related charges. The three, Messrs Philip Conteh, Allieu Kamara, and Lansana Zanto Kamara, were collectively charged with seventeen counts of misappropriation of public funds, misuse of office, abuse of office, among others. On May 19, First Accused Philip Conteh and Second Accused Allieu Kamara were each convicted on seven counts, while Third Accused Lansana Zanto Kamara was convicted on three counts. Messrs Philip Conteh and Allieu Kamara were each sentenced to three years imprisonment or pay a fine of Le90 million, while Mr. Zanto Kamara was sentenced to three years imprisonment or pay a fine of Le3 million.
“It is truly hoped that the feeling of national disgrace and disappointment that was caused by the indictments of these officials may have been repaired by their convictions,” CARL’s Executive Director said. “These convictions somewhat demonstrate that corrupt public officials are no longer insulated from the long arm of the law, and hopefully remind every Sierra Leonean that sometimes a thin line separates a hero from a villain. These lines get even thinner when one chooses to be corrupt,” Executive Director Ibrahim Tommy added.
CARL believes that combating corruption is critical to overcoming Sierra Leone’s development challenges. As we commend the ACC on this latest victory, we urge the leadership of the anti-graft body to step up efforts at bringing ongoing corruption-related investigations to speedy conclusions. There can be no sustainable economic development in a society where corruption flourishes, which is why the ACC must continue to demonstrate unbridled commitment to stemming the scourge of corruption in the country. CARL is committed to supporting the Commission’s efforts at combating corruption, and wishes to remind the leadership of the ACC about the need to provide regular update on the unresolved issues relating to the infamous “NASSIT ferry” matter.
Prior to their indictments, Messrs Philip Conteh and Allieu Kamara were the Executive Director and National Coordinator of the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat, respectively. Mr. Lansana Zanto Kamara was the Northern Region Coordinator of the Secretariat. The Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat was established by the current administration as part of efforts to rebrand Sierra Leone’s international image as well as promote national development.
Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law- (CARL-SL)
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