In his statement, Hon. Al-Sankoh Conteh emphasised that the fight against graft is a serious matter especially in sports. He noted that his Ministry is committed to collaborate and cooperate with the ACC to eradicate corruption in the sports sector. The Honourable Minister showered praises on the ACC for a job well done in recent years. The Deputy Minister intimated staff that Sierra Leone has one of the strongest Anti-Corruption laws in the world and that surveys point to the fact that the ACC has been very consistent in its effort to wipe out corruption in Sierra Leone.
Making a statement on behalf of the ACC, Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, Patrick Sandi emphasised that constant engagement with Ministries Departments and Agencies(MDAs) is one of the approaches of the ACC designed to promote the prevention of corruption. Mr. Sandi explained to the audience that these meetings were necessary because bribery and other forms of corruption are still rife in Sierra Leone. He noted the MOS like other MDAs is vulnerable to corruption opportunities, hence the need for frequent awareness raising meetings.
Referring to the recent development relating to corruption among former FIFA officials, the Deputy Director maintained that the dynamic role sports play among the young and even old can be a valuable instrument in the fight against corruption. He said the ACC is committed to collective effort in the fight and will leave no stone unturned to pursue this preventive stride which is provided for in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Making a presentation on some the major offences in the AC Act 2008, Public Relations Officer, Alhassan Kargbo explained to staff of MOS that corruption is the hub of all other criminal offences. Therefore, Mr. Kargbo reasoned, many vices in the world that are liable to cause conflict emerge as a result of corruption. If the rule of law should prevail, poverty reduced and peace maintained, we have to fight corruption, the PRO further stated. The ACC he noted has the mandate to pursue all corruption offences in Sierra Leone. Mr. Kargbo outlined some of the major and common offences in the AC Act 2008 and precisely elucidated the basic elements that constitute them.
In the fight against corruption, the PRO pointed out that Sierra Leone has been making steady progress over the years. He stated that in the past five years, the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index Reports show that the country has progressively moved 39 spaces upwards. He informed the audience that Sierra Leone ACC leads over 60 countries in its effectiveness and efficiency in the fight against corruption.
Head of Public Education Unit, Michael Sesay chaired the meeting, and Foday Sesay Assistant Secretary of the Ministry, who doubled as Focal Person of Integrity Management Committee (IMC), coordinated the plenary session where staff asked questions and sought clarifications.
The engagement was climaxed with a statement of appreciation from Ms. Yatta Lahai, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry in which she encouraged the ACC to continue this initiative and reach out to other Government agencies.