From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Six Sierra Leone Ministers Given Assets Ultimatum
By
Sep 27, 2010, 12:17

Sierra Leone’s anti-graft body on Saturday gave six government ministers an ultimatum of seven days to declare their assets, or face a fine or imprisonment.


“The six ministers who have not declared their assets are given seven days to do that or face the consequences,” Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chief, Joseph Kamara told AFP.

 

Those who were found to have not declared their assets are: Fisheries Minister Joseph Koroma; Lands Minister Dennis Sandi; Minister of State George Komba Kono; Deputy Lands Minister Sylvester Goba; Deputy Employment Minister Moijueh Kaikai; and Deputy Aviation Minister Osmond Hanciles.

 

Kamara, who took over as ACC head last month, said the body had recovered more than 60,000 dollars from corrupt officials over the past three days and the money was paid into state coffers.

 

The West African nation is one of the world’s poorest countries and corruption is one of its main challenges as it rebuilds eight years after the end of a decade-long civil war that claimed some 120,000 lives.

 

“We are determined to combat corruption at all cost,” said Kamara, adding that since January the ACC had investigated about 120 cases, four of which were in court while 83 were pending.


“The commission will now embark on asset tracing and recovery to pursue and recover assets that are proceeds from crimes within and outside Sierra Leone,” he said.

 

Kamara, a former deputy chief prosecutor in the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, said public officials failing to declare their assets “shall be liable on conviction to a fine ... or to imprisonment for a term not less than one year.”

 

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