Sierra Leone football chief in court – witness says money was paid to husband

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 November 2017

The first prosecution witness in the matter between the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Isha Johansen (first accused) and the Secretary General Chris Kamara (second accused) – Kiny-Ali Brima Walker gave evidence in court today.

He told the High Court of how the sum of twenty-four million – seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones was allegedly paid to the husband Aisha Johansen, even though the said money was said to have been given as sponsorship to the SLFA by the LEOCEM Cement Factory, and not a loan. (Photo: Isha Johansen).

Led in evidence by the Commissioner of the ACC Ady Macauley Esq.,  Kiny-Ali Brima Walker told the Court, presided over by Justice Reginald Fynn Jnr., that the first accused said in her statement with the ACC that she was not aware of any loan agreement between the SLFA and her husband, but one between the Association and LEOCEM.

Walker however tendered an SLFA payment voucher showing that the money was paid to Arne Johansen, the husband of the first accused, and not to LEOCEM.

The ACC prosecution witness also tendered evidence of how the second accused Kamara received Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Leones from the SLFA, as payment for the use of his personal computer.

He said this was contrary to the statement made by Kamara that staff of the SLFA do not use their personal computers to do official work.

Earlier, the ACC Commissioner objected to Drucil Taylor Esq., who joined the defence team of the first and second accused persons, on grounds of conflict of interest as he is a member of one of the Committees in the SLFA.

Mr. Taylor replied that he was appointed to serve in the said Committee by FIFA, not the SLFA. The Honourable Justice Fynn ruled that since SLFA is a member of FIFA, he (Taylor) cannot be part of the defence team.

The matter was adjourned to Friday 3rd November, 2017, when the first prosecution witness will continue his testimony.

2 Comments

  1. I hope the Honorable Judge presiding over this matter will give this hearing a fair, credible and expeditious hearing.

    Looking at the Count proffered against the two accused persons which I will post below my comment for ease of reference, since the article above did not state the counts against the accused.

    The first prosecution witness is an ACC investigator who is a witness of fact. His role is to explain how the investigation went and what fact if any the ACC established. To convict someone of the counts below, documentary evidence, forensic and witness evidence are very crucial.

    If Isha’s husband is a worker of Leocem and he lobbied Leocem to foot a bill for a cash strap organisation that his wife is heading, it is expedient to have a witness from Leocem to give evidence as to why the Le 24,000,000 (less than four thousand dollars at today’s exchange rate) was paid into the personal account of the husband of first accused. Secondly it is proper to have the SLFA account to confirm whether the money was transferred to the SLFA Account by Mr. Johansen.

    Similarly, I hope the ACC will bring someone over from CAF to confirmed the transfer of the amount stated in one of the counts ($50,000. Was the money used for it intended purposed. If no, did the accused inform CAF or get permission from CAF to use the money on some other venture of a cash strapped SLFA?

    I am not saying that the first accused is innocent. However, knowing how the ACC has been manipulated to get opponents out of the way and to save sacred cows, I will not be surprised that Mrs Isha Johansen will be found not guilty. However it will only happen after those who want her replaced at all cost have achieved their aims and objective.

    Who am I – a southeastern person to meddle in a North West context, when I know very well how competent brethren of mine from the south east were elbowed to pave way for Isha Johansen to get to her position. But the fact is a fact. Wonders never end.

    “Count 1 (against the two accused persons) relates to misappropriation of donor funds contrary to Section 37 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. According to the particulars of offence, the two accused persons misappropriated Fifty Thousand United States Dollars, being funds donated to the SLFA by the Confederation of African Football for the purpose of conducting Magnetic Resonance Tests (MRTs) on thirty members of the Sierra Leone Under 17 National Team in Niger.

    The second count (against the two accused persons) is conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, contrary to Section 128 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. According to the particulars of offence, the two accused persons misappropriated the sum of twenty-four million seven hundred and fifty thousand leones, by issuing an SLFA cheque in the said amount and endorsed in the name of Arne Johansen, purportedly as repayment of a loan given to the SLFA by the said Arne Johansen.

    Counts 4 to 10 (against the first accused Isha Johansen) relate to abuse of office contrary to Section 42 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. The particulars of offence state that the first accused on diverse dates disbursed over six thousand US Dollars of SLFA funds to facilitate the travelling of one Mohamed Ola Marah who is not an employee of the Association.

    The eleventh count (against the second accused Chris Kamara) is misappropriation of public funds contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. The particulars of offence state that Kamara misappropriated the sum of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Leones, purportedly as payment for the use of his personal computer”.

  2. Another sad day for Sierra Leone. The judicial system is so corrupt that if honesty was ever introduced, it would collapse.
    The people know what’s going on and you have to admire Isha for standing up for what is right.

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