By Alex A. Bah
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Friday 25th November, 2022, received a delegation from the Guinean National Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Promotion Agency (NACGGPA) headed by its Executive Secretary, Saikou Amadou Diallo, at its Conference Room, 3 Gloucester Street, Freetown.
The delegation which also comprised Heads, Division of Asset Recovery and Multi Sectoral Governance, came on a visit to understudy the operations of the ACC that has made unimaginable gains and achievements, especially in the last four years, and endeavor to replicate these systems, initiatives and structures in the anti-graft institution in Guinea.
Stating that which informed their visit, the Executive Secretary of NACGGPA, Saikou Amadou Diallo said, his appointment came barely one month ago, and the vision of his appointment is to build a strong anti-graft body. “How do you guys manage to be strong and powerful like this, and how do we learn from that”, he inquired, noting that it is what necessitated the visit; to get an insight on the operations of the ACC that accounts for its huge successes and admiration at the Regional and Global levels.
“Let’s do well on what we are asked to do first, before we ask for something else”, Mr. Diallo averred, whilst informing the ACC on the systems they already have in place that include, prevention, public education etc.
He also revealed that they have no prosecutorial authority but want to very well make do and build on what they have already established.
In his statement, the ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., assured the delegation of the Commission’s unwavering commitment, in ensuring that they understand its systems and structures. He disclosed that the fundamental reason underpinning the Commission’s successes is the strong visionary leadership and consciousness of the citizenry including; public officers, of their obligation to support the fight against corruption.
He furthered that, the mandate of the ACC as provided by the Anti-Corruption Act 2000, which he said, has been amended twice; 2008 and 2019, and each time, it proved to make it become stronger.
He continued by noting that the bedrock for the success in the fight against corruption hinges on the institution’s autonomy, strong leadership, integrity and discipline at all levels.
He disclosed further that the Commission has very strong and effective internal structure, and has equally maintained a very high degree of stability over the years with impressive staff retention rate.
“We do strong coordination externally. Our fight against corruption is diversified in such a way that we have forged working relationships and signed Memoranda of Understanding with various institutions that interface with our job like the Civil Society, Media, Judiciary, Financial Intelligence Unit, Sierra Leone Police, Audit Service etc. They are like an extension of our work and we provide mutual support”, Commissioner Kaifala underscored whilst emphasizing to the delegation the transparent and collaborative manner the ACC operates.
He also highlighted the strong, expansive and robust public education strategies that the ACC employ in carrying the public along in what it does, coupled with its punitive and enforcement approaches that has the fierce team dubbed as “Elite Scorpion Squad”, which conducts sting operations successfully.
ACC’s Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday Ngobie who also served as Chairman of the meeting commended the delegation for its drive to better standards through this experience sharing and reiterated the Commission’s continued support to NACGGPA. He further noted the shared commonalities of both countries, and the importance of collaboration to address common challenges.
Heads of the various Departments at the ACC who were part of the meeting, responded to the many questions asked by members of the delegation in regard the work of the ACC at it relates to their respective Departments.