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Monday, January 18, 2021

NAM Sillah warns against using anti-corruption body to target opponents

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By Tabora Bojang

The National Assembly Member for Banjul North has raised concerns over the effectiveness of the anti-corruption commission, saying inasmuch as he welcomes the fight against graft, it could be abused by those in power to witch-hunt political opponents.
Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou recently tabled an anti-corruption bill before the National Assembly for approval of an anti-corruption commission.

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The bill, which is currently under scrutiny before a parliamentary committee, seeks to provide measures for the eradication of corruption in the country.
However speaking to The Standard, Ousman Sillah said: “My concern is that will this commission end up being a witch-hunt mechanism going after opponents and targeting the small fish?”

NAM Sillah said government should introduce a national anti corruption strategy that will codify corrupt practices in the constitution for the involvement of all stakeholders to join the fight not just an institution.

He argued that the fight against corruption is a legitimate cause that should not be left entirely in the hands of a commission, but needs the support of all Gambians including the media and civil society.

Sillah cited the defunct Evaluation of Assets and Corrupt Practices Commission established by former President Jawara after the 1982 election, which he said was short-lived without any tangible milestone.

“I am not trying to condone corruption but my problem is that will this commission not end up like the ones we used to have before which were short-lived and that incumbents can always use it against their opponents? I think we need a better approach,” he said.

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