ACC indicts lab assistant on corruption charges amid accusation of going after small fish

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 May 2021:

Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commissioner – Mr Francis Ben Kaifala is coming under fierce attack from many who say that he has lost focus in his fight against corruption in the country.

Critics say that the ACC Czar has evolved from being the man that everyone was looking up to in taking on corrupt officials, irrespective of who and what they are – whether they are supporters of president Bio’s government or not, to an obscure shadow of himself.

He is accused of turning a blind eye on rampant corruption in high places within the government by presidential sacred cows, and instead hacking at the heels of low-grade public officials as scape goats.

Two months ago, the ACC boss (Photo) said that he is conducting an investigation into the financial affairs of all  wives of presidents of Sierra Leone – present and past, after rejecting calls for an impartial investigation into corruption allegations against president Bio’s wife – Fatima Bio, running into millions of dollars. Critics say that the ACC has abandoned that investigation.

Last week the ACC published a statement saying that it has after investigations charged a laboratory assistant to court for stealing medicines worth just millions of Leones – less than two hundred dollars, prompting accusations that the ACC is now losing the will and vigour needed to fight corruption in Sierra Leone. This is what the ACC said:

7 Comments

  1. …but what about the District Health Sister in Bo, accused of and indicted for “corruption” for probably accepting a “hand shake” in the amount of Le350,000 (a token of appreciation) even if it were so. The humble amount in the face of billions of Leones and Dollars stolen by rogue government officials, past and present, is not even enough to put cold beer in my belly accompanied by my fellows in our weekly rounds.

  2. I doubt whether a lab assistant stealing is corruption. That is theft and beyond the remit of the ACC.

  3. The following comment addresses together the articles on ACC’s actions and those of the Sierra Leone Police regarding the accusations of misconduct being made against their personnel.

    The spectacle of both the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Sierra Leone Police turning all of a sudden on some of their own to indicate to the rest of us that they really mean business and that those culpable in their institutions of gross misconduct stand to face the full force of the rules and regulations governing professional behaviour, seems to be for all its unbelievability, a welcome change of direction in the way these institutions operate. This spectacle of public officials – whether highly or lowly placed – not being untouchable when deemed guilty of professional misconduct would be even more credible if everyone else within Bio’s administrative machinery was seen to be liable in principle and in practice to being treated as are the police officers and the ACC laboratory assistant that are being prosecuted for or have been suspended pending investigations into their behaviour.

    My point is, what if the ways in which Bio, Sovula and Kaifala govern our country, run the affairs of our police and investigate and prosecute cases of corruption respectively are themselves not above board? Indeed, what mechanisms are there to hold these three people to account if and when the conduct of any of them in public office lends itself to accusations of unprofessional behaviour and moral turpitude?

    Until no public official, no matter how highly or lowly placed, is seen to be above the law, scepticism and cynicism about the significance of Sovula’s and Kaifalla’s apparently uncompromising and punitive response to the reprehensible behaviour of their personnel will persist. We need to have a level playing field when it comes to holding public officials to account. In the name of fairness and transparency there should be no sacred cows: those in charge of disciplining others should be and be seen to be well-disciplined people themselves.

  4. This is a clear matter of theft and Police should prosecute the Laboratory Assistant. This matter is not for ACC

  5. Until we start to see high profile men, accused of corruption, investigated, tried in a court of law, and if the charges are proven against them, see them forfeit not only their stolen loot, but actually sent to prison, we will never be able to fight corruption in its true meaning. Bio for all his pronouncements of being the leading Knight in shining armour, on the crusade against corruption, has proved to be all talk no action. If Sierra Leone was waiting for an action hero, that will fight this cancer that has held our country back for so long, we might have to wait little longer. So far what we have witnessed, his efforts or the lack of it, is nothing to be proud of. We seemed to be caught in a merry go round of Bio’s untouchable, ascused of corruption, with little or no action taken against them.

    The best way to fight corruption is to place those ascused on a trial, and invite the public in the court room to observe the process of delivering justice to the accused. Anyone found guilty of misappropriating public funds, should suffer the consequences, by long prison sentence. These corrupt public officials are the real enemies of the state. Better still we can pass a law that states all corruption cases will henceforth be televised nationally. These untouchables have the best paid lawyers money can buy.

    Right now any corruption allegation made against them is settled behind close doors. So if you are a low ranking official caught in this web of corruption allegations, chances are, you will be sent to prison. And you are not only going to serve time, your name will be in every news outlet in Sierra Leone. Not so for the untouchables, that are guaranteed a degree of anonymity. We need a holistic approach in fighting corruption.

  6. Gentlemen – There are some individuals in Sierra Leone that have mastered the art of deceptions and treachery – Ben Kaifala is one of them. This man is truly a total failure; A miserable puppet in the hands of SLPP is what he has now become. The President pulls a string and he jumps, tugs another lightly and he slumps down quietly, obeying one shady, questionable command after the other coming directly from State House. Benny is the man after the money that loves the sweet taste of fresh honey given to him by SLPP that have stolen, robbed, ransacked the scanty coffers of our nation; Huge Coffers, dry and barren that resemble empty bee hives whose surplus honey has been harvested by thieves in the SLPP Cabal.

    I sometimes wonder if these ignoramuses are really Sierra Leoneans because all they have done is stoke the fires of hatred and discord in a volatile country with mentally fragile people recuperating from the traumatic ordeals they suffered during a long brutal war. My goodness! Instead of conquering obstacles Ben Kaifala pretends that they don’t exist; He has been shielding corrupt SLPP officials like David Francis and JJ Saffa from the scorching flames of the law; The President and his wife are totally rotten with corruption to their innermost core yet Ben Kaifala the sleeping cowardly SLPP puppet has no other choice but to move just as the hands in State House directs him to do. A passenger sitting next to me on a long flight from Brazil once asked me two years ago as I was exiting the Aircraft: “Are you a Sierra Leonean?” I laughed, looked at him in the eye and replied: “No I am not – I am THE SIERRA LEONEAN.” Whats the difference,” he insisted; “Well, its simple, by calling me A SIERRA LEONEAN you are frivolously generalizing, putting me in the same category as Maada Bio, his Gold digger, David Francis, JJ Saffa and Mr Abass Bundu”.

    Ben Kaifala has outlived his usefulness – he no longer has anything of substance and value to offer little, fragile Sierra Leone. Strange is it not that this puppet that was once pleasing to eye has become transformed by the President and his cronies to a scraggy looking rag doll? Hahahaha he is busy arresting the little squirmy harmless fishes and letting the big ruthless sharks go free. (lol) Shame on You Benny Boy!

  7. When we see a shadow of a person we know that there’s somebody there, a breathing normal human being, unable to disappear into the spiritual world. But Ben Kaifala has become a phantom. He knows where and when to appear to give the appearance of possessing super natural powers. Upon closer look the shocking discovery is that he is a cat with no claws or teeth . The rats have come to appreciate and understand these facts, and so they put up a show of dancing “gumbay” around him. The mice are even worse. They operate on the knowledge that Ben has become blind, incapable of seeing them because of their size. They devour the crumbs left by the rats.

    The billions that go missing all the time are the handiwork of the rats. Unfortunately for the mice, now and then blind Ben steps on one of them and he cries out “ardon kaicham”. This is how Ben fools those without their wits about them. Let’s keep crying and praying for mother Salone. The new direction is a farce and facade.

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