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ACC’s response to Africa Confidential Article: Ferry fiasco dents Koroma’s standing

ACC’s response to Africa Confidential Article: Ferry fiasco dents Koroma’s standing

The attention of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been drawn to Vol. 59 No.23 edition of the “Africa Confidential” Magazine of 18th November 2011 titled; “Ferry Fiasco Dents Koroma’s Standing”.  The Commission having carefully examined the contents of the said article hereby profers the following clarifications:

1. The NASSIT Ferry Case:

In arriving at a decision after thorough investigations of the matter, the Commission considered an ‘out of court’ settlement a more prudent option in view of the fact that the quality and totality of evidence available at the time could not meet the threshold for criminal prosecution.  Taking cognizance of the fact that the monies involved were contributions to the scheme by subscribers, the Commission advised itself to pursue the path to recovery of the loss, as a means of securing their investment.

2.  Resignation of Abdul Tejan Cole:

Records available at the Commission show that the erstwhile Commissioner, Abdul Tejan-Cole resigned his position on his own volition, and later took up another appointment abroad. The Commission is not privy to any reports or complaints of interference with his work whilst serving as Commissioner of the ACC.

3.  Remuneration of ACC Commissioner and Deputy:

The Commission views with concern the seeming attention paid to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner’s salary which is the outcome of Parliamentary procedure and approval, guided by national and regional reward levels for similar outfits. Furthermore, the present Commissioner sacrificed a wage loss of over 60% as Deputy Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone to take up this appointment. Therefore, it is disingenuous and unfair to suggest that “his first act was to secure a massive pay increase for himself.”

4.  Corruption on the decrease:

The Commission maintains that data collected and analyzed by external assessors do indicate a drop in the level of corruption.  This has been so reflected in the ratings of prestigious and credible institutions such as Transparency International, the World Bank and the Mo Ibrahim Index which sets standards on good governance.  In particular, the Mo Ibrahim Index ranked Sierra Leone 30th out of 53 countries, indicating an upward leap to 16 places between 2010 and 2011.

The report further states that over the last five years, the most striking improvements have been achieved by Sierra Leone and Liberia, two countries emerging from lengthy civil wars. Both have improved evenly across the four governance categories of the Index of which Safety and Rule of Law is part.

Additionally, TI Corruption Barometer Report of 2010 indicates that about 53% of Sierra Leoneans surveyed consider that corruption had decreased.

Judging from the content of the article therefore, we wish to categorically state that as a Commission, we are an independent outfit and regret the apparent attempt at drawing us into what we consider a politically motivated misinformation exercise.

We hope that the above clarifications will help to shed light on issues raised concerning the ACC in the referenced publication of the Africa Confidential magazine.

Signed Shollay Davies, Director, Public Education and External Outreach, ACC

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