June 10 – Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has lodged an appeal against the acquittal of federation president Isha Johansen (pictured).
The ACC says it will challenge the recent ruling of a High Court in Freetown to acquit Johansen on all counts of corruption.
Johansen and SLFA General Secretary Christopher Kamara returned to their posts after they were acquitted by a court in the capital Freetown. Both had been accused of 10 charges of corruption, later reduced to four by the government-run ACC
The ruling came just in time for FIFA to lift its ban on the country, allowing Johansen and Kamara to attend the FIFA Congress in Paris last week. FIFA had suspended Sierra Leone last October due to government interference in the running of the country’s FA.
The ban saw them disqualified from the qualifying campaign for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Johansen and Kamara have long denied any wrongdoing of misappropriating funds, claiming they were victims of trumped-up, politically driven charges designed to stop an inquiry into match-fixing and corruption allegedly perpetrated by high-ranking opponents.
But in its submission the ACC said that “issues have been identified with the ruling that crucially requires review by the Court of Appeals, particularly in relation to the ingredients of the offence of misappropriation and the nature of evidence required to prove and establish it.”
In the meantime, the pair will continue to be allowed to continue in their respective roles.
“It (the ACC) confirms that having concluded the trial it will not interfere with the continuance in office of the officials of the Sierra Leone Football Association pending the conclusion of the Appeal,” the statement clarified.
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