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As a clear and vivid manifestation of the Commission’s unceasing efforts to combat corruption within Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Anti-Corruption Commission Northern Region, on Tuesday 28th February, 2012 sensitized officers of the Sierra Leone Prison Department at their Regional Headquarters in Makeni. (Photo: Cross section of prison officers listening to ACC staff)
In his statement, the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Prison Service in Makeni Mr. Samuel Titus Sesay welcomed ACC staff to his institution and expressed delight for having such an important institution at his office. Mr. Sesay maintained that the ACC was doing very well in the country, as reports on its activities keep spreading to the four corners of Sierra Leone. The Makeni Prison boss furthered that, the ACC North was especially doing a beautiful job, meeting institutions and sensitizing them on the work of the Commission. He encouraged ACC staff to continue such a high and good spirit of service to duty.
Addressing his men and women, the Makeni Prison boss admonished them to remain steadfast to their work and make sure they do not get involved in corrupt practices as the Commission was up to its task of dealing decisively with corrupt offenders. Mr. Sesay however lamented on some of the challenges faced by the organization and pleaded with the ACC so that they will advocate for an alleviation of these problems. He concluded by assuring ACC that the visit will further cement the partnership between the ACC and the Prison Service.
Speaking on the purpose of the engagement, the Bombali District Coordinator, Raymond Alieu Kamara told the officers that ACC was at their organization to educate them on the ills of corruption and solicit their support in fighting the scourge. The Coordinator also maintained that the Commission’s work is not limited to arrests and prosecution, but it also educates and put structures in place for the prevention of the occurrences of corrupt acts. As such, Mr. Kamara emphasized that the Commission’s work should not be judged or estimated only on the arrests and prosecutions it makes. The Bombali District Coordinator warned the officers to be vigilant at work and remain conscious of the Commission’s existence and mandate.
The Public Education Officer North, Al-Hassan Sesay dilated on the reasons for the establishment of the Commission and the three (3) main approaches employed to fight corruption. Al-Hassan remarked that the ACC was set up solely to fight corruption as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC S/L) in its report precisely highlighted that, bad governance and endemic corruption were the contributory factors to Sierra Leone’s eleven (11) year brutal war. Therefore, in order for the country not to elapse into another major crisis, an institution was to be set up to address issues of corruption in Sierra Leone.
The Public Education Officer furthered that the ACC uses education, prevention and prosecution to fight corruption in the country. He emphasized that the 2008 AC Act which replaced the 2000 AC Act gave the Commission the power to prosecute its own cases and so many other powers in the bid to effectively curb graft in the country.
The Regional Manager ACC North, Patrick Sandi explained key offences in the AC Act 2008 which relates to the work of the officers. The ACC Manager North advised the officers to be mindful of the manner they use public funds and property. He intimated them that the Government was losing lots of resources because of leakages existing in systems. Therefore, it was the responsibility of all to help the ACC identify the leakages and halt them for the benefit of the country. Mr. Sandi furthered that the Commission was focused and committed to achieving its mandate of eradicating corruption in Sierra Leone.
‘Officers of Prison Service must stop corruption’ Manager Sandi emphasized. He read out the Commission’s mobile hotlines which they could use to report suspected instances of corruption taking place in their environments.
Concluding, Mr. Sandi implored the higher ranks of the Prison Service to do all they could to improve the living conditions of the workers.
Contributions; questions and answers which were all responded to by the ACC Staff climaxed the meeting.
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