ACC enquires into allegations of corruption against chief minister

ACC Media Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 November 2019:

In light of recent allegations of corruption against the Chief Minister, Professor David John Francis, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that it has accordingly taken appropriate action.

Professor Francis himself contacted the Commission following a text message he received from Sallieu Tejan-Jalloh, Managing Editor of The Times Sierra Leone Newspaper, alleging that a total of US$1.5M was paid into his Ecobank account as bribes.

The Chief Minister, acting in accordance with Section 77 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, which imposes a duty on all public officers to report where a corruption offence has been committed; or is about to be committed, accordingly informed the Commission.

Acting in consonance with Section 7(1)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, which mandates the Commission – “to investigate instances of alleged or suspected corruption referred to it by any person or authority or which has come to its attention, whether by complaint or otherwise,” – the ACC accordingly contacted Mr. Jalloh to help with information to aid an investigation. Unfortunately, Mr. Jalloh refused to comply with the request of the Commission.

However, the ACC issued a Section 57(2) Notice, compelling the Ecobank to submit to the Commission all financial records and transactions of the Chief Minister. In its response, Ecobank clarified that “Professor David John Francis does not maintain any account with the Bank.” Yet, Ecobank maintained that Professor Francis has an Ecobank CashXpress pre-paid card since August 2019.

The said card, according to Ecobank, denominated only in Leones, can be issued to both Ecobank account holders and non-account holders. The investigations also revealed that since he was issued this card, Professor Francis never loaded the said card with cash; and therefore never used it.

Nonetheless, the ACC invites anyone with evidence to pass such to the Commission. By the provisions of Section 82(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, where a person discloses to the Commission that a public officer, body corporate or public body is, or has been involved in corruption, he shall incur no civil or criminal liability as a result of such disclosure.

In this light, the Commission wishes to reassure the general public of its determination to continue executing its mandate without fear or favor.

Author: Patrick Sandi, director of public education and outreach department, Anti-Corruption Commission, Sierra Leone.

3 Comments

  1. Let the anti-corruption commission investigate the matter and let the truth be known to the public. If the chief minister is found guilty let the law take it’s cause righteously, despite his position.

  2. Sierra Leone would not have needed any ANTI-COPPRUPTION COMMISSSION if the Sierra Leone Police had not been politicised. It is possible to bypass banks by misusing and abusing ATM or Credit or Debit Cards; transactions will not and do not appear in any of your bank accounts. EXTRANOUSLY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY; I had seen CCTV pictures of President Bio limping this week. We, men, disdain admitting that there is anything wrong with our health which is why we disproportionately die and continue to die of treatable prostate cancer! I request readers to convince President Maada Bio to immediately confirm a medical appointment with both a cardiologist and a neurologist etc. about his limping this week – it is a warning sign! This is about his health – not politics. Seton During – Deputy Chairman, CANCER BLACK CARE UK.

  3. I have a friend anxious to return home, residing in the States that’s been looking tirelessly for a million dollars for over a decade now, and he is still searching, still pacing – back and forth, nowhere near that goal. Yet in Sierra Leone, a million dollars has appeared out of nowhere that no one wants to own.(lol) A million dollars is a lot of dough, anywhere in the world.

    In Virginia and Maryland there are cheap houses you can buy for as low as 50,000 dollars. Remarkable isn’t it? A million dollars that no one wants to own, that could be used to build hospitals for the poor and mentally ill, or spent to buy a lavish Victorian architectural style mansion, packed with flashy cars in Sierra Leone, our only home. But why is the SLPP afraid to even touch it? Is it because it came in a package burning intensely with unquenchable fire? Yesterday, as I drove by, I heard an old man dressed in red screaming, “we are masters at this game you wish to play!” (lol)

    Wait! perhaps their poor sense of judgement made them overlook the fact that the general public could notice such an unscrupulous transaction? Again, If it was a lawful arrest, why then did the police use deceptive means to enter the premises of Mr Jalloh? Why didn’t they issue a warrant for his arrest if he was deemed a threat to national Security? Perverseness? Damn right!

    The ACC has no credibility whatsoever. They started this awful trend of grossly violating the rights of citizens not yet tried by the law, by handcuffing and parading them as guilty in the eyes of the world….A damn Shame! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

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