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SLFA Trial Begins

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SLFA Trial Begins

By Jane B. Mansaray.

The corruption trial before Justice Reginald Fynn between ACC and the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) yesterday started proceedings with the first prosecution witness, Mr. Kiny-Ali Brima Walker testifying.

Led in evidence by the Commisssioner of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), Ady Macauley, the witness, Mr. Walker, an investigating officer at the ACC told the Court that he recognizes and knows the accused persons Madam Isha Johansen, President of SLFA and Christopher Kamara, Secretary General of SLFA.

The witness said he recalled in 2017 when he together with a colleague ACC investigator, Lucy Kabba obtained two sets of separate interview statements from both accused persons in the presence of a solicitor Lawyer D.C. Taylor on invitation by the ACC.

The accused persons’ interview statements were produced and tendered in court as exhibits.

Mr. Walker continued that he was part of a team of ACC investigative officers that conducted a search warrant at SLFA premises at Kingtom in the presence of SLFA workers.

During the search, a bunch of documents relevant to the investigation was carted away including computers, itemized and documented, signed and dated by both ACC and SLFA.

Several documents including (ACC) search logs, (SLFA) payment vouchers with serial numbers 234 dated 17th July 2015, 0166 dated 10th July 2015 and 339 dated 20th July 2015, with respect to twenty four Million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones amount being paid towards loan to Mr. Arne Johansen of Leocem to pre-finance the Sudan trip were produced, tendered and marked as Court exhibits.

Chris Kamara with Isha-Johansen

Chris Kamara with Isha-Johansen

Other relevant documents in relation to the matter includes four correspondences between (SLFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) with various dates in 2014 to 2017, SLFA Press release dated 22th June 2016 titled withdrawal of Under (17) from (CAF) youths championship qualifier, (SLFA) letter to the Director of Sports dated 17th June 2016, (ACC) notice and response from Eco-bank on swift transfer from (CAF) to eco-bank dated 28th September 2016 were also exhibited in Court.

Copies of transfer details of twenty four Million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones to Mr. Johansen attached with Leocem cheques, (SLFA) Eco-bank account document with statement period of 14th August 2010 to 14th October 2015, IPC travel document dated 13th October 2016 with listed invoices by the General Manager IPC Travel Agency.

Notice to the General Manager Eco.med medical laboratory dated 16th September 2016 and responce from Eco-med with pro-former invoices to (SLFA) and (SLFA) reply to one Tejan Cole and Yillah Bangura were produced and tendered.

No objection to the tendering of those documents was made by defense Counsel and the matter has been adjourned to the 3th November, 2017 for continuation of first prosecution witness.

The accused persons are standing trial on eleven counts of corruption indictment ranging from conspiracy, misappropriation to abuse of office contrary to the (ACC) Act.12 of 2008.

Witness Testifies In SLFA Trial

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) has told the High Court of how the sum of twenty-four million seven hundred and fifty thousand leones was allegedly paid to the husband of the first accused, even though the said money was given as sponsorship to the SLFA by the LEOCEM Cement Factory, and not a loan.

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 said 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.

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