Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 February 2022:
Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which is led by Francis Ben Kaifala is urging all public officials including elected politicians and ministers, to ensure that they declare their assets before the end of March.
In a Public Notice published on the 24th of February 2022, the ACC says that “pursuant to Section 119(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 (as Amended in 2019), Public Officers are to declare their income, assets and liabilities on or before the deadline date of 31st March, 2022.”
“Every public officer shall, within three months of becoming a public officer, deposit with the Commission a declaration of his income, assets and liabilities and thereafter in every two years that he is public officer, but not later than 31st March of that second year, deposit further declaration of his income, assets and liabilities and also while leaving office,” the statement reads.
The ACC said that the following public officers are required to declare their assets: Persons in elective offices, Persons appointed by the President, Public Officers in Grade 7 and above and Public officers below Grade 7 with fiduciary (financial) responsibilities, such as bursars, etc.
Principals, Vice Principals, Head Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers and Bursars in Government and Government-assisted schools must also declare their income, assets and liabilities, but all other teachers in Grade 7 and above are exempt from this year’s declaration requirement, the ACC says.
Asset declarations can be done online through the Commission’s website: www.anticorruption.gov.sl
“The public is reminded that Section 122 of the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Act 2019 provides that: “A public officer who, without reasonable cause, fails to submit his/her Assets Declaration Form or knowingly records false, inaccurate or misleading information in the declaration form shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed under the Act, be liable to administrative sanctions as set out in Sub-section (5)” as follows: Withholding the salary of the Public Officer, suspend the Public Officer after one month of default but not more than three months and dismiss the Public Officer after exceeding three months but does not apply to Positions for which removal from office is stipulated in the Constitution but applies to all,” the ACC notice reads.
I hope this directive from the ACC commissioner Ben Kalifah applies to everyone one , and not only limited to elected public officials but all public officials, including the president himself and his entourage of handpicked corrupt yesmen and women that are now firmly entrenched in our public bodies. At long last the once poor kids from the neighbourhood block that were struggling to make a living in Europe, Australia, America and Canada, and indeed in Sierra Leone, known as “DREGMAN” will soon open up their bank balances to the public, so we can get a sneaky look of how much wealth they’ve acquired in the last four years of Bio’s tumultuous corruption induced rule .
Every thing has to be placed on the table including their bank balances before 2018 and after 2018.The size of their living arrangements, including their pan bodies and as we all know their newly built Hollywood style villas, complete with swimming pools around the Freetown peninsula and the rural areas where most of them hailed from. It goes without saying most of this corrupt individuals will use every trick in the book to ensure their newly acquired wealth that might come under scrutiny is now hidden in offshore accounts, and registered in the name of their husbands or wives and children to circumvent any information that the ACC might be interested to get there hands on.
This headline announcements by the ACC commissioner is an other of his own gimmicks statements he likes to come out with, like he is trying to make fools of us all. Three months notice is enough window of opportunity to allow this corrupt criminals to take the necessary steps to hide their ill gotten wealth in their homes or back gardens. Once again Ben Kalifah have proven he is ill prepared for the job of being the anti corruption commissioner. His actions tend to be on the side of protecting the corrupt rather than fighting the corrupt.