12 January 2016

Sierra Leone: New AG Says - 'No Business As Usual'

The newly appointed Attorney General and Minister of Justice yesterday stated that there would be "no business as usual" in the dispensation of justice at the Law Officers Department, assuring of his determination to making sure that justice is delivered.

Making a short statement before declaring his asset declaration form to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara said he was committed to upholding the rule of law and the country's constitution.

"I believe that the background and experience I have had, not only as a lawyer but as an administrator and a man with a keen interest in justice, we shall deliver," he said and thanked President Koroma for reposing such confidence in appointing him as the country's Attorney General. "Things are going to change. I cannot commit to do it alone but I believe with the support of the ACC and the structures that I have left behind, the cause and fight against corruption will continue."

Kamara, who until his appointment was the head of the ACC, noted that even though he had left the commission, he was not gone completely as he still possesses overlapping roles and that he intends giving the ACC his fullest support in the fight against graft.

According to him, the commitment of the president to further strengthen the fight against corruption was part of the reason he was posted to head the Office of Attorney General.

"I come with great zeal and vigour and that is why I am here first Monday to declare my asset for 2016 to the Deputy Commissioner as is required by the statute. As a minister of government, I have completed my asset declaration form, declaring the assets I have had during my experience and years of work," Mr. Kamara declared. "In as much as I would have loved to make it public, the statute still retains that it should be filed confidential."

Receiving the document,ACC Deputy Commissioner, Shollay Davies, said they were proud that the new Attorney General has shown leadership by being the first to declare his assets to the commission this year.

He stated that it was the responsibility of every public official, according to Section 119(1) of the ACC Act 2008, that upon assuming office, within three months, to declare their assets and liabilities to the commission.

"We are proud that even before the expiration of the three months and two weeks of your appointment you have shown leadership by being the first to break the ground to declare [your] assets. This is a shining example which we hope other ministers of government, public officials will follow," noted Mr. Davies.

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