Sierra Leone FA offices raided by Anti-Corruption Commission

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Fifa recognises Isha Johansen as the president of the Sierra Leone Football Association

Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has raided the offices of the country’s football association (SLFA).

The move comes exactly seven days after the ACC sent a letter for SLFA President Isha Johansen to step down.

The commission says under Sierra Leone law Johansen and her secretary general Chris Kamara must vacate their posts while they are being investigated.

Both Johansen and Kamara have denied any wrongdoing.

“Staff at the SLFA offices have been warned not to have any business with Johansen and Kamara and not to allow them into the secretariat,” Alhassan Kargbo, the Deputy Director of Public Education and outreach Department at the ACC, told BBC Sport.

The staff were allowed to continue their work but the ACC warned them that “anyone who goes against the orders will face the law (arrest).”

Kamara has also been invited to the ACC’s offices in order to handover the necessary computer passwords to Abdul Rahman Swarray, who it recognises as the acting secretary general.

Johansen acknowledged she had received the ultimatum but did not confirm whether she would step down.

Ahead of Tuesday’s raid Fifa said it was “closely monitoring developments and plans to provide the Member Associations Committee with an update on 26 September.”

The latest incidents come shortly before a scheduled visit by a Fifa taskforce carrying out its own investigation into potential match-fixing in Sierra Lone.

The four-man Fifa unit is leading a match-fixing inquiry that includes a World Cup qualifier between Sierra Leone and South Africa in 2008.

Since 2014, eleven officials and four players have been suspended by Sierra Leone’s FA pending investigation, with all having denied wrongdoing.

“Fifa continues to expect that the agreed roadmap is strictly adhered to by all parties,” said world football’s governing body.

“In this context, the Inquiry Group Sierra Leone will be visiting the country soon to conduct its investigations.”

Fifa is currently overseeing a roadmap which also concerns, in addition to the match-fixing investigation, delays to FA elections and agreeing the conduct of integrity checks on officials wanting to contest executive positions.

Johansen has previously been set aside by the SLFA Executive Committee but Fifa – which disapproves of governmental interference in the running of a national association – refused to recognise the decision and continues to work with her.

She was recalled to the Executive Committee a few months ago.

Sierra Leone has been without a domestic league for four years because of the divisions within the SLFA.

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Leave Auditor-General alone – Anti-corruption coalition barks

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The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) is demanding immediate presidential intervention to deal with the ongoing spat between the Auditor-General and chairman of the Ghana Audit Service.

A member of the Coalition and Senior Research Fellow at Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante says Daniel Domlelovlo needs the support of the state to help deal with corruption.

“We should all do what we have to do in our various capacities to ensure he is supported to do his work because this is a very serious issue as it is a violation of the Constitution.

“Even if a normal auditor is auditing you, you cannot go and be interfering in their work otherwise they will not sign off,” he said.

Related: President directs probe into Auditor-General petition against Board Chair

His comments follow the Mr Domelevo petitioning the President over concerns that the board chairman, Prof. Edward Duah Agyemang was interfering in his work.

In a five-page petition dated July 27, 2018, sighted the Auditor-General requested the President to intervene in the “unlawful interferences” by the Board Chairman and others whom he said, are clothing themselves with powers to direct and control him unconstitutionally.

Daniel Domelevo, Auditor General

Domelevo further threatened not obey “any unlawful instructions” from the Board, including existing and new decisions that he says are inconsistent with the Constitution.

But the Board chairman of the Audit Service has dismissed claims of interference by the Auditor General.

According to Prof Duah Agyemang, he had already done an auditing of the public accounts as Auditor General before leaving the office in 2009 and did not understand why some auditors had gone back to audit those accounts.

“I called them to find out why they were going there to audit accounts from 2007 to 2015. But it turned out they were also going to audit some three contracts in 2017, so I asked them why they were doing that because the Auditor General was not in town,” he said.

Related: It’s not interference, its intervention – Audit Service Chair to Domelevo claims

The President has instructed his Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo, to look into the petition and report the outcome of discussions between the two public officials.

This the CDD Senior Fellow is not impressed with these developments saying the profession needs independence.

“To the extent that the Board Chair is trying to interfere with the functions of the Auditor General, which is to audit public accounts, that is a violation of the Constitution.

Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, Senior Fellow at CDD

“For me, there is not even the contestation as the Constitution is very clear on it. The only instance it says somebody can request for an additional audit to be made outside of what is set in the Constitution, the President has to do that in consultation with the Council of State and in pursuit of the public interest,” Dr Pumpuni Asante observed.

Also adding his voice in support of calls for no interference in the Auditor General’s work is the founding president of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe.

In a post on Facebook, he appealed to the President to ward off any interference with Mr Domelewo’s work and called for support for Mr Domelevo to be given the space to do his work.

He wrote:

“Dear Mr President, if you look on for the Auditor-General to be harassed by the board and chair of the audit service, you would have killed the last pillar in the fight against graft and kissed your fight against procurement theft goodbye. I am hopeful you will intervene and push back those unjustly baying for the Auditor-General’s blood. And frankly, I do not understand why the Daily Guide newspaper is on a mission to destroy the Auditor-General. Fortune Alimi my friend, what is going on? IMANI folks are not pleased at all.

I urge everyone to share this post and say #IstandbytheAuditorGeneral.”

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