ACC targets checkpoints and police posts in Bo district
The Southern Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the 9th of September 2013 engaged over 20 security personnel at various checkpoints and police posts across Bo District. The personnel included officers from various units of the police, military and traffic warden department attached to Fala Checkpoint at Bo-Taiama highway, Musa police post and Kendeyela police post at New Koribondo-Bo Highway.
Mr. Anthony Samu, the District Coordinator, ACC Bo in his opening statement explained that the aim of the meeting is to sensitize the officers on the work of the Commission and the various offences in the Anti-corruption Act of 2008. He said the meeting is also an opportunity to have frank discussions on corruption issues within the institutions represented at the posts. He reminded the officers of their professional responsibilities as law enforcement bodies and appealed to them to embrace the ACC as partners and complement each other for the good of the Country.
The ACC Regional Manager South, Samuel Marah, in his presentations explained the ill effects of corruption on the Country. He said corruption has not only brought hardship in the lives of people but has caused serious damage to the country’s reputation. Referencing the negative reports of various perception surveys, he stated that the men and women of these noble institutions must not become complacent about bribery and other incidence of corruption. The manager advised that in other to break out of the quagmire, every officer, like all Sierra Leonean must take responsibility to launder the image of the Country. He what is needed is the development of new mentality to work and National Service. While the Manager acknowledged the constraints and challenges of the officers, he encouraged all to place diligence and integrity above all else.
Mr. Marah explained the three main approaches of the Commission in fighting corruption – Public education, Systems & Processes Review and Investigation and Prosecution. He said the objectives are: the enhancement of public awareness and involvement, prevention of corruption through systems and processes review of Government Ministries, departments and Agencies and enforcement through investigation and prosecution of corrupt acts. The Manager also talked on the offences under Part IV of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 and pointed out the corresponding penalties.
The officers were also updated on developments in the fight against corruption by the Regional Manager. Amongst the updates was the sentencing of two officers of the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning (MoDEP) to both fine and imprisonment, which according to Mr. Marah represents a major breakthrough in the campaign against corruption.
Mr. Samuel Marah called on the officers to support the fight against corruption by resisting, rejecting and reporting corruption and to maintain and promote integrity. He reiterated that the officers can also help spread the message on corruption, intimating the audience that the ACC is always keen to work in partnership with other stakeholders.
The officers, in their remarks, expressed appreciation to the ACC for sensitizing them. They lamented on the condition of service for the forces and asked the ACC to facilitate its improvement. They expressed commitment to take steps against corrupt practices and to assist the ACC in fighting corruption.
There was an interactive session on issues, challenges and possible solutions.
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