Is The ACC Serious to Fight Corruption?

When the President Bio-led SLPP came to power in April 2018, four years ago now, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) under the disguise martinet stewardship of Francis Ben Kaifalah was all over the place unearthing corruption.

This bogus show of seriousness in the fight against corruption raised high expectations from the general public that ACC can truly render this nation from endemic corruption.

The ACC made corruption a costly venture when they furiously went after erstwhile state officials who embezzled state funds. That strategy to win public trust and confidence was laudable but not sustainable.

Now, their voracious appetite to curb corruption has engendered mammoth demands from the general public to be proactive, independent and impartial in investigating and prosecuting all forms of corruption irrespective of who is involved.

Quite recently, the issue of fake degrees emerged and this has turned out to be a tough test for the ACC to demonstrate their zest in opening an inquiry into the said issue. However, it appears as if the ACC under the watch of Francis Ben Kaifalah is set to fail abysmally.

Hearing the ACC Commissioner’s position from an interview he gave at the BBC in relation to ACC’s resistance to act upon this lead of fake degrees that is of public interest has undoubtedly shown the level of hypocrisy and unrealistic strives to stop corruption of all forms.

The whistleblower of this fake degree syndicate Dr. John Idriss Lahai has provided enough lead for the ACC to probe investigation into the said matter but ACC clandestinely appears to be the defender of this fraudulent enterprise.

The uncharacteristic defense put forward by the ACC Czar Francis Ben Kaifalah on this public interest matter has met distasteful impressions with mixed feelings on the minds of right thinking Sierra Leoneans.

Is the ACC truly serious in the fight against corruption? The general public is in a complete state of doubt.

It could be recalled that the same ACC commissioner who paraded ordinary school teachers for examination malpractice on the grounds to eradicate corruption in our educational system is the very commissioner that is categorically stating the ACC’s legal jurisdiction in investigating an issue of academic fraud in Sierra Leone.

It is obvious that the mandate of the ACC is not just to prosecute corruption matters but also to prevent, educate and ensure systems and processes are properly reviewed.

The ACC is expected at a moment like this to open an investigation on the said matter in order to ascertain the impact of the fake degrees scandal in our educational system and its immeasurable damage on public service output.

The practice of closing the door on public interest cases like the fake degrees scandal without any form of investigation from the ACC is a perpetual show of selective justice in the fight against corruption because top government officials have been identified as carriers of fake degrees.

The ACC is expected to be proactive, robust and impartial in its fight against corruption but the current trend of issues has left much to desire.

The entire ACC team seems to be on a long vacation at a time when they should demonstrate seriousness in fighting corruption.

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As we await more shocking revelations of fake degree holders in ministries, departments and agencies, the general public is quite optimistic that the ACC will recover from their slumber or long vacation and react to this scourge.

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