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Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commissioner boss, Francis Ben Kaifala says ‘the country’s laws must be upheld though the heavens may fall’.
Ben’s comments come in the wake of Fifa threats to sanction Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with a ban following Tuesday’s raid on their premises by the anti-graft body.
The 33-year-old Anti-Graft Czar of Sierra Leone posted, “We have survived the war, beat Ebola, united against storm and rains. Our hearts are etched with valour by great forbearers – like Bai Bureh, Sengbeh Pieh, Kai Londo, Ella Gulama.
“We were named “Lion Mountain”, not Sheep Yard! Let our Laws be followed though the heavens may fall,” Ben tweeted.
On Tuesday, officers from the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) visited the Sierra Leone Football Association office following a seven-day ultimatum.
On 12 September, the ACC issued instruction via the Sports Ministry that both Isha Johansen and Christopher Kamara to step aside pending an investigation into abuse of office, public and donor funds charges.
“A public officer who is charged with corruption shall be suspended, at half pay, with effect from the date of the charge,” The reminded stated in a letter dated 12 September 2018.”
The ACC’s action was in line with the Commission Act No. 12 of 2008 which state that public officials indicted with corruption charges must be suspended until acquitted or the proceedings against them discontinued.
However, Fifa’s statutes forbid outside third party interference in the running of its members.
“FIFA has requested the SLFA to provide a detailed report on the current situation by no later than Monday 24 September,” a Fifa statement to Football Sierra Leone.
“Recent developments, if confirmed, would most likely constitute an 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.”
“It was reported to our services that on 18 September, the premises of the SLFA were apparently intruded by the ACC, allegedly with the collaboration of the Ministry of Sports and accompanied by armed forces,” added the letter signed by Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
After the ACC’s actions in Freetown, the commission handed control of the SLFA to Brimah Kamara with Abdul Rahman Swarray acting as his secretary general.
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We have survived war, beat Ebola, united against storm and rains. Our hearts are etched with valor by great forebearers – like Bai Bureh, Sengbeh Pieh, Kai Londo, Ella Gulama. We were named "Lion Mountain", not Sheep Yard! Let our Laws be followed though the heavens may fall!!
— Francis Ben Kaifala (@FrancisKaifala) September 20, 2018