State House, Freetown, Thursday 28 June 2018 – His Excellency Julius Maada Bio has today declared his assets before the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben-Kaifala, in line with Section 119 (1) of the ACC Act of 2008.
The said section stipulates that: “Every public officer shall, within three months of becoming a public officer, deposit with the Commission a sworn declaration of his income, assets and liabilities and therefore not later than 31st March in each succeeding year that he is a public officer, deposit further declarations of his income, assets and liabilities and also while leaving office”.
Shortly after the ceremony at State House, President Bio said that: “Every public officer like me is compelled by law to declare their assets but beside that I want to lead by example and ensure that it is done within the stipulated time. As President, I think it is good to lead by example. I hope others will follow”.
On his part, the Commissioner of ACC said it was good that President Bio took the move in setting the stage for the fight against corruption and thanked him for leading by example. He said the occasion was going to set the stage for accountability and public integrity.
The ACC boss also called on other public officials to follow the move of President Bio in declaring their assets, assuring them that the commission would uphold confidentiality of the declaration as mandated by Section 119(3) of the same Act.
The confidentiality clause states that: “Subject to this Act, the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Directors and other persons having official duties under this Act, or being employed in the administration of this Act, shall deal with all documents and information, and all other matters relating to a declaration under this Part, as secret and confidential except where a particular declaration or record is required to be produced for the purpose of or in connection with any court proceedings against or inquiry in respect of a declarant under this Act or before a commission of inquiry.”
President Bio’s declaration of assets among other things depicts a strong signal of his commitment to supporting the fight against corruption.