Edifying on the expected role of civil society in the fight against corruption the Regional Manager Mr. Samuel Marah informed CSO’s of their cardinal importance in the development of every nation and therefore they are expected to take all compulsory steps to fully collaborate with the Anti- Corruption Commission in the national fight against Corruption. He told participants that the ACC alone cannot win the battle against corruption except with the full cooperation of the general public and specifically members of the civil society organization .The Regional manager explained the three pronged approach adopted by the Commission in the fight against corruption and further heartened their minds to adopt an accepted mechanism to jointly work with the ACC Regional Team to put an end to the ills of corruption in our society .
Speaking on the mandate and the general ACC offenses, the investigating officer Mr.Ishmael Kamara briefly told the civil society members that the mandate of the Commission as being provide in the act for the continuance of an independent , Anti – Corruption Commission for the Prevention, investigation, and punishment of corruption and corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. Mr Kamara updated CSO’s campaigners that prosecution starts with investigation, the sobriety of any prosecution leading to conviction is heavily dependent on the concision and precision of the investigation. The officer provided education on the various offenses which range from abuse of office, mis- appropriation of Donor and public funds to bribery.
The public Education Officer, Mr Joseph M. Hazeley delivered on the specific role of civil society members in the fight against corruption which he said that over the years, civil society has made tremendous effort to raise awareness about corruption and the damaging effects it has on the welfare of Sierra Leoneans. He told CSO’s that Corruption do not only distorts economic decision –making, but also deters investment, undermines competitiveness and weakens economic growth. It is a fact that economic, political, social and legal aspects of every country are linked together and corruption in any of these will impede development in them all. He therefore told CSOs members that without vigilance and countermeasures, corruption can occur anywhere. Although civil society has been engaged over the years in this fight, a strong and unified coalition of civil society organisations would better utilise this important sector. Specifically, it would allow prompt action on corruption related issues through press releases and publication of articles for the attention of both the Anti-Corruption Commission and the population, both nationally and internationally
The Regional Civil society chairman Mr Jeremy Simbo Thanked the Commission for such a timely meeting as the disclosure today has empowered its membership to now spring in to action and further express willingness to continuously work with the commission on issues of corruption. The whole membership agreed to have a strong alliance with the commission.