Nominee ACC Commissioner faces Parliament amid opposition boycott  

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June 27, 2018

By Jariatu S. Bangura

nominee
Francis Ben Kaifala

The newly appointed Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben Kaifala, yesterday faced the Appointment and Public Service Committee, but members of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC), National Grand Coalition (NGC) and Coalition for Change (C4C) refused to participate in the process.

The interview process, which was scheduled for 3p.m. yesterday, was stalled because committee members were having a closed-door meeting.

The closed-door meeting was suggested by Leader of the main opposition APC, Hon. Chernoh R.M. Bah, and endorsed by members through voting.

The interview started at 5p.m. after the closed-door meeting, but the opposition refused to participate in the process.

Hon. Bah insisted that they would not participate in the hearing process as that was their decision during the closed-door session.

Also, Leader of the National Grand Coalition, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, maintained similar stance, stating that they had arrived at a certain decision during the closed-door meeting, adding that they were slated to have met before the interview process, but to no avail.

“I have looked at the CV of the nominee and it shows that he is very competent but that there are procedural issues that must be followed and we don’t feel that such would be for us,” he stated.

However, Deputy Leader and Acting Chairman of the committee, Hon. Mathew S. Nyuma, said the nominee is qualified for the position and that they have studied documents he had presented to the committee.

On his part, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Segepor S. Thomas, commended the nominee, whom he said was up to the task as he could vouch that he would do what he has been tasked to do.

He questioned the nominee as to how he intends to make the ACC relevant to the nation.

In his response, Francis Ben Kaifala said corruption has been one of the impediments to the development of the country and promised to fight it to the finish.

“We intend to fight corruption all out and it should be known to all that it will not be tolerated in this part of the world.
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We want to give confidence to the people and we must make sure that we fight it. We want to bring a change in the commission and we also want to tell people that when they are corrupt, they would not get away with it,” he said.

Hon. Veronica K. Sesay of the ruling SLPP said that although the nominee is a young man, he is qualified to be at the helm of affairs of the commission.

“There are so many corruption cases and you said you will bring a change, we do hope that it will never be the same. We want to see you succeed. You are going to represent the people and the youth of this country, so I want you to make sure that you succeed in doing so,” she said.

Independent Member of Parliament, Hon. Emilia Loloh Tongi, representing Constituency 01 in the Kailahun district, described corruption as a cancer which the entire Africa continent is fighting to eradicate.

In addition, Hon. Mathew Nyuma of the SLPP averred that the appointment of the nominee was in line with the 1191 Constitution, and that they were bound to go ahead with the interview.

“If anyone has issue with the nominee, let him or her forward it to the committee as members would critically look into it,” he said.