World football governing body (FIFA) has given orders that Sierra Leone should explain the decision by the ACC to remove the President of Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) or face possible sanction.
FIFA in a letter said reports from Sierra Leone indicate that the country’s anti-graft agency stormed the premises of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and installed its own executive which according to FIFA constituted a violation of its statutes on third party interference.
The world football federation also threatened to suspend the SLFA as part of the possible retaliatory action.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it has acted upon an ultimatum it issued against Isha Johansen, ordering her and her General Secretary, Chris Kamara to vacate office while they face corruption charges.
According to the Anti-Corruption laws of Sierra Leone, a public official facing charges of corruption should be suspended until they have their name cleared. Ms. Johansen and Mr. Kamara were indicted by the ACC back in November last year over allegation of misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office. The case is being heard by the High Court of Sierra Leone.
Brima Mazola Kamara, Isha Johansen’s Vice President, was asked to take over as Acting President. “To our understanding, the recent developments, if confirmed, would most likely constitute and undue interference in the affairs of the SLFA and would therefore have to be brought to the attention of the Bureau of the Fifa Council for consideration of sanctions, including the immediate suspension of the SLFA,” Fifa’s letter, signed by its Secretary General, Fatmata Samoura, noted.
Sierra Leoneans have taken to social media condemning Fifa for its position. Sports Minister, Ibrahim Yelenkeh, on Friday denied that the government had any hand in the decision of the ACC and said they wouldn’t take Fifa’s letter seriously.
“We will not even consider it. We will not take it serious because what’s alleged in the document is not true,” Mr Yelenkeh said in a radio interview. “This government has nothing to do with Isha’s suspension. We still maintain that this government will not interfere in FA’s affairs.
ALHAJI M. JALLOH For sierra leone news