According to him, in the matter involving APC Secretary General who doubled as former Ambassador to Ghana, Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh, it occurred in the course of ACC investigation that, there are no laws/punishments regarding absenteeism running into 708 days which he said the ACC could have used to successfully prosecute the accused person. He maintained that the ACC would have looked like a fool to have taken such a matter to court without first establishing the legal provisions and instruments which would have assisted the Commission in prosecuting and winning a conviction in the Ambassador Osman Yansaneh affair.
He maintained that in order for such a lacuna which gives people opportunity to escape prosecution is not used by people in future; the ACC has engaged the relevant authorities including the Foreign Affairs to amend certain sections of the law that deals with such issues.
He went on to explain that in the case of the alleged corruption matter involving the Chief Minister Prof. David Francis, Commissioner Ben Kaifala noted that, the ACC relies on evidence-based intelligence or information and cannot act on mere speculation. He went on to state that in this particular matter, all the “evidence” sent to the ACC by the informant was based on pure speculation and rumor. He said when the ACC investigated the issue; no concrete evidence was found anywhere to substantiate the informant’s allegation against the Chief Minister.
He informed the press that the ACC will stoutly reject any individual or party to use it as a political weapon against anyone and suspected that could have been the motive.
He highlighted several other matters brought to the attention of the ACC and which are currently being investigated. These include an alleged corruption ring operating at the National Revenue Authority (NRA) which has managed to squander at least Le30 billion over a one year period; a property belong to Sierra Leone Police allegedly annexed by Mrs. Al-Sheik Kamara in cahoots with the former Lands Minister Diana Konomanyi of the former APC government; a corruption ring operating at the Freetown International Airport which is allegedly pocketing money taken from innocent passengers which should go directly into the Consolidated Revenue Fund; a criminal gang involved in stealing WFP monetary assistance to needy people to the tune of millions of Leones among other matters under investigation or close to conclusion.
He added that in some of the above cases a number of arrests have been made while in some others suspects that had been in police custody were released on bail.
Several other speakers including the Deputy Commissioner (ACC) Augustine Foday Ngobie who chaired the event, Sheku B. Mansaray who represented Civil Society Organizations and Elias Bangura who represented the Media made salient contributions to the fight against corruption and how their respective institutions can help the ACC in the fight.
A question and answer session formed the climax of the press briefing.