ACC investigates Parliament
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started investigating the House of Parliament on allegations of corruption, which emanate from a 2019 Perceptions Survey Report commissioned in April 2020 by the Public Financial Management Consortium led by the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL).
The report rated Parliament as the 4th most corrupt institution in Sierra Leone and parliamentarians as the 2nd most corrupt persons.
The move by the ACC to probe parliament was necessitated by public reactions on the said report, as well as an interview granted by a Member of Parliament, Hon. Hindolo M. Gevao, to the BBC Focus on Africa Programme on Wednesday September 9, 2020, in which he alleged that there are instances of corruption taking place in Parliament.
“The Commission wishes to reaffirm to the general public that it had immediately commenced probing into the issue by taking statement from the said Parliamentarian. He confirmed the general claim that Parliamentarians or Parliament is corrupt but did not provide any specifics – names, instances, persons involved, modus operandi – which to us fell short of any meaningful “lead” or helpful evidence,” a release from the ACC stated.
The investigations, according to the commission, will continue but noted that they would have to rely on other sources if they are to make the progress that they desire on issue, considering the seriousness of the claim by Hon. Gevao.
The ACC urged all persons who have paid monies to, or from whom monies have been solicited by any Member(s) of the current Parliament, or Staff of Parliament, in order to approve their Appointments, Institutional Budgets, Legislative Instruments, or such other public service to make it known to the commission with, where possible reasonable specifics to assist with the investigation.
Also, the ACC revealed that investigation into allegations of corruption involving the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Tarawally and Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh of Constituency 132, which commenced in November 2019 is at an advanced stage for conclusion.
“The public will be accordingly updated on developments regarding the said investigations. The ACC reassures the general public of its commitment to fight corruption at all levels in Sierra Leone.”