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 and implored his people particularly the youths to be watchdogs of all government projects implemented in their community. The Section Chief assured the ACC team of his people’s firm stance against corruption and that they will report to the Commission any corrupt practices going on in their area .
The ACC 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 adding that the commission was in the village to solicit their support in the fight against corruption . Mr. Saccoh revealed to his audience the successes made by the commission in the areas of public education, systems review and prosecutions adding that they have 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 of their basic rights and hindering the quality delivery of social services in the communities, like the Free Health Care service, good road network, good educational infrastructures etc.
Highlighting some of the corruption offences as enshrined in the Commission’s 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 stated it is the common people that 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 completed to standard” Mr. Sandi emphasized. The ACC Regional boss added that offences in the Act 2008 were for all categories of people including 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.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.