Transparency International - Sierra Leone

The Global Coalition against Corruption - Fighting Corruption in Sierra Leone


PRESS RELEASE

TI-SL’S PERCEPTION ON OUTCOMES OF RECENT CORRUPTION CASES


Transparency International Sierra Leone welcomes and appreciates the recent court ruling on the NRA and EcoBANK Corruption Cases.


On April 10, 2014 the Sierra Leone high court presided over by a Nigerian Judge (Honourable Justice M.A. Paul)—in a land mark decision, handed down custodial sentences and record fines on five principal accused persons for various Anti-Corruption Offences that include Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offense, Misappropriation of Public Revenue, Possession of Unexplained Wealth, and Failure to Declare Assets Fully to the Commission, all of which contravenes the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.

Moreover, such an unprecedented event is arriving at a time when the Anti-Corruption Commission is coming under serious public scrutiny, considering the outcomes of recent corruption cases on the Gavi funds and other individuals—and the country has suffered tremendously as a result of the inadequate control of corruption. Thus, as an Anti-Graft Civil Society Organization—we strongly believe that this decision will not only change the negative perception of the public about the Commission’s work, but it will also reaffirm and solidify the country’s effort in curbing this menace.


Furthermore, this will serve as strong signal (to all those who think that they cannot do without corruption) that the days of taking pleasure in plundering the country’s financial resources have been violently overthrown by the demand for Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability.


It could be recalled that these cases came up at a very crucial time; a time when the country was undergoing assessments towards ‘Corruption Control’ by the MCC. It was then absurd to think that the government cannot control its own self-generated revenues being plundered at such an extent and at such magnitude. How much more will it do so for donor funds?

We, therefore, commend all those who worked assiduously to achieving this outcome in the interest of protecting the resources of the general citizenry; the Anti-Corruption Commission (especially its Prosecution Team), the EcoBank administration, and all those who bravely presented outstanding testimonies in court.


While we are not expecting this decision to be overturned in the event of an appeal, we are very much hopeful that this case is just the beginning of the series of outstanding cases that the Anti-Corruption Commission will win this year.


Transparency International Sierra Leone is, therefore, calling on all Sierra Leoneans to be proactive in the fight against corruption, support, and embrace all anti-corruption efforts, as the fight against corruption is the fight to ensure that the resources of this country (meant for the public good) are used to provide a good health care system, decent and affordable housing, quality education, good roads, good electricity supply and a better livelihood among others, to improve the welfare of the general citizenry and not the benefit of a few.


For more information please contact us on mobile number 079060985 or via email at tisl@tisierraleone.org.

TI-SL’s Office,

20 Dundas Street, Freetown.

11/04/14.