ACC, FIFA @ War

 

The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Francis Ben Kaifala in an interview with the BBC’s Umaru Fofana  reiterated his determination to enforce the country’s anti corruption laws indiscriminately against any public or civil servant found wanting.

Mr. Kaifala made the statement with reference to the ACC’s call for the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Isha Johansen and the association’s Secretary General to vacate their offices whilst they stand trial on allegations of corruption.

In a letter to the Minister of Sports dated 12th September, 2018, Mr. Kaifala ordered the Minister to ensure that the Commission’s order for Madam Johansen and Chris Kamara to vacate their offices within a week.

Section 134 of the ACC Act 2008 empowers the Commission to call for the suspension of any public/civil servants facing trial and on half pay until the matter is concluded. Madam Isha and Chris Kamara were indicted by the ACC last year but refused to step aside; prompting the new ACC boss’s action against them.

SLFA’s parent body, FIFA being acquainted with the decision wrote to SLFA stating its position that:

 

In the BBC interview, Lawyer Kaifala was asked if Madam Isha falls within the category of Sierra Leone public/civil servants, being that she is paid by FIFA.

Mr. Kaifala said that she does, and that there is no exception to the law that any public/civil servant that has been indicted by law should be under suspension until the case is heard. He mentioned the example of public/civil servants who are paid by DFID and other international organizations.

The ACC boss stated that any exception to the law is not good for the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone because if an exception is made to Isha, other public/civil servants the ACC would want to indict would use her exemption as reference. Such act, he said, would be an unsavory situation, concluding that he will uphold the rule of law.