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In a bid to spread anti-corruption messages to all parts of Sierra Leone, the Anti-Corruption Northern Regional Office has on Friday 13th July 2012 sensitized the Rogbesseh Community, Lal-lenken section in the Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom, Tonkolili District.
Addressing his people at the village’s community centre, the Section Chief Lal-lenken Section, Pa Sengbi Sankoh expressed great delight for the visit of the Commission. He stressed that the ACC’s efforts was geared towards bringing development to the country. Pa Sankoh implored his people particularly the youths to be watchdogs of all government projects implemented in their community. The Section Chief assured the ACC of his people’s firm stance against corruption and that they will report to the Commission all corrupt practices going on in their environment.
The ACC’s District Coordinator Tonkolili, Abdulai Saccoh informed the people that the Commission was on a vigorous outreach campaign, making sure that all and sundry benefit from the messages. He further stated that, ACC was in the village to solicit their support in the fight as the eradication of corruption in Sierra Leone was a daunting task. Mr. Saccoh revealed to his listeners that the ACC has scored huge successes in the areas of public education, systems review and prosecutions. He said the Commission has won international laurels for its great and tremendous performance in the fight against the scourge. The District Coordinator Saccoh, highlighted some of the dangers of corruption, such as, depriving the people their basic rights and also hindering the quality delivery of social services in the communities, like the Free Health Care service, good road network, good educational infrastructures etc.
Speaking on some corruption offences as enshrined in the AC Act 2008 that are common in rural communities, the Regional Manager ACC North Patrick Sandi underscored the point that the Commission was the hope of many Sierra Leoneans as it will bring about development and progress. Manager Sandi made it known to the people that they feel the brunt of corruption most, because they are always looked down upon by people in urban areas. “Therefore, there was every need for the people to be vigilant in ensuring that projects implemented in their communities are finished to standard” Mr. Sandi emphasized.
The ACC Regional boss added that offences in the AC Act 2008 were for all categories of people, public officers, private people and NGO staff. He dilated on the crimes of misappropriation of public/donor funds, peddling influence, conflict of interest, soliciting and accepting advantage, using influence for contracts and protection of public property and revenue. He intimated them that the penalty for any of the offences is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones, or a jail term of not less than three (3) years or both.
ACC’s Public Education Officer Al-Hassan Sesay told the people of Rogbesseh that the ACC wanted them to change their corrupt behaviors, opinions, attitudes and thoughts, as these were critical ingredients to succeeding in the fight. Mr. Sesay further explained to them how to make reports to the ACC and the protection of informers and witnesses. He encouraged the people to resist, reject and report suspected corrupt acts to the ACC. The Public Educator lamented that the people in the villages may not see corruption, but will feel it; so in whatever way they were experiencing the hazards of corruption.
Giving the vote of thanks, Pastor Bassie Thullah, a renowned cleric thanked ACC for the decision to come to Rogbesseh and described it as worthwhile and good. He further reaffirmed the people’s commitment to the ACC in ensuring that the country is swept of corruption.
Questions which were responded to by ACC staff formed the high point of the sensitization.
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