Despite a promise from President Koroma that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) will get a busy Christmas when he formally received the Transitional Team’s report, Awoko can authoritatively reveal that the commission is yet to get a copy of it.
Speaking on a wide range of issues with Awoko, ACC’s chairman Abdul Tejan Cole says, “the comments and perceptions out there is that the Anti Corruption Commission has been given the transition team’s report and that it was done sometime in December [last year].”
He goes on to indicate that, “I can authoritatively say to you that as I speak today (Friday) the ACC has not received the transition report as at yet,” emphasizing further that, “we have been waiting for it but we haven’t received it, when we do receive it we would take the necessary action”.
The ACC chairman goes further that, “although we haven’t received the report as yet, we have been conducting our own investigations based on intelligence reports we have received.”
Chairman Tejan-Cole affirms that, “we do not necessary have to wait until we get the report before we take any action,” indicating that, “if the report is useful to us we will definitely investigate what is mentioned in it.”
He explains that despite the fact that they have not received the report, the little they have “we have been taking the necessary action.”
On what he has been doing since he assumed office, he states that they have been doing a number of things to get the commission running, stressing that, “for me it was trying to understand what is going on, and to make a couple of changes that are required.”
In terms of concrete efforts, he says, “we set ourselves a couple of benchmarks, to review the Act and make some amendments to it,”
He notes that, “it has been reviewed and examined and there is now a draft bill that will soon be presented to government.” The amendments, he avers, are all embracing as they make provision for declaration of assets, new offences under the Act and further encompass new other areas, citing that, “giving us the power to prosecute our own offences.” It’s important, he says, to note that the fight against corruption is a very tough one, and it is crucial that as an institution we come up with plans and strategies to fight corruption.
“We have presented to President Koroma the National Anti Corruption Strategy which should be the one that government should adopt for the period 2008 to 2112, citing that “we are now working within the ACC to develop our own strategy.”
Abdul Tejan Cole emphasizes that, “you cannot fight corruption without strategizing, or planning yourself,” indicating that they have spent considerable time within the institution trying to build and work on them so that they can set themselves goals and targets.
By Samuel John