The Institute for Government Reform (IGR) has released a Report on the perception survey of Sierra Leoneans on the Commission of Inquiry (COI).
The release which was published on the 7th of February this year, established the background of the setting up of the Commissions of Inquiry, the commitments of President Julius Maada Bio towards the COI, and it captured the voices and how people perceive the COI in the different regions.
According to the Report, 99% of people in Bo, 98% in Makeni know about the COI, while in Freetown, the figure stands at 69%. The high rate of awareness about the Inquiry in the two main dominated political regions, according to the survey is as a result of increased Community Education by the Government of Sierra Leone.
The report states, “more Males (90%) reported knowledge of the COI than Women (87%).
Heard about the COI? Female /Male/ Grand Total
Yes: 87% 90% 89%
No: 14% 9% 9%
Respondents who have heard about the COI.
Bo = 99%
Freetown = 69%
Percentage of Respondents who don’t know how and where to share information with the COI.
Bo = 54%
The Reports revealed that eighty two percent of the survey Respondents believe that the COI can contribute to the fight against corruption. But it presented a slightly higher number of people in Freetown with 23% being more critical of the COI’s contribution to the fight against corruption as compared to Makeni with 17%, while Bo stands at 15%.
“Around 92% of Respondents who voted for Bio in the last elections said they believed the COI can contribute to the fight against corruption, with 69% not believing.
Since the intention to conduct a COI was announced in July 2018, debates about its fairness and usefulness have dominated local media. While governing party officials present the COI as a tool to tackle impunity and identify some of the root causes of corruption, opposition leaders have dismissed it as a witch-hunt, targeting certain ethnic groups and regions. They have also argued that the commission has failed to observe due process in its establishment. The survey therefore asked Respondents about the fairness of the COI process
Overall, 81% of Respondents believe the inquiry process will be fair, 85% in Bo and 82% in Makeni, the heartland of the opposition APC party. However, perception of fairness differs more by ethnicity, following Respondents from ethnic groups largely affiliated with the ruling party, the Release states.