Anti-Corruption Commission indictee and suspended President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) yesterday made her first appearance before a Freetown High Court, presided over by Justice Reginald Fynn Jnr. Isha Johansen made her appearance together with the Secretary General of the SLFA, Christopher Kamara, on eleven counts of misappropriation of donor and public funds and abuse of office contrary to the Anti-Corruption Act 2008.
Before the accused made their pleas, the ACC Commissioner Ady Macauley, who is leading the prosecution team, made an application to the Court for an amendment to the indictment, consistent with Section 148 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965. The application which was approved by the court saw the replacement of count 4 with five other counts, summing the number of counts from six to eleven.
Count 1 (against the two accused persons) relates to misappropriation of donor funds contrary to Section 37 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. According to the particulars of offence, the two accused persons misappropriated Fifty Thousand United States Dollars, being funds donated to the SLFA by the Confederation of African Football for the purpose of conducting Magnetic Resonance Tests (MRTs) on thirty members of the Sierra Leone Under 17 National Team in Niger.
The second count (against the two accused persons) is conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, contrary to Section 128 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. According to the particulars of offence, the two accused persons misappropriated the sum of twenty-four million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones, by issuing an SLFA cheque in the said amount and endorsed in the name of Arne Johansen, purportedly as repayment of a loan given to the SLFA by the said Arne Johansen.
Counts 4 to 10 (against the first accused Isha Johansen) relate to abuse of office contrary to Section 42 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. The particulars of offence state that the first accused on diverse dates disbursed over six thousand US Dollars of SLFA funds to facilitate the travelling of one Mohamed Ola Marah who is not an employee of the Association.
The eleventh count (against the second accused Chris Kamara) is misappropriation of public funds contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008. The particulars of offence state that Kamara misappropriated the sum of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Leones, purportedly as payment for the use of his personal computer.
While the counts were being read out, the two accused persons looked dejected and were inaudible as they made their pleas, prompting the Honourable Justice Fynn to ask them to be audible.
The two accused persons were granted a bail of five hundred million Leones and one surety each. Before this, the ACC Commissioner spoke about the abuse of the bail conditions by the first accused Isha Johansen, especially when she travelled out of the country to attend the FIFA Ballon d’or without the expressed permission of the Commission. The court then ordered for her travelling documents to be handed over to the Master and Registrar of the Judiciary, and be held under strict conditions.
The state is represented by the Commissioner of ACC Ady Macauley, Calvin Mantsebo, Sarrifou Harleston, Jelo Kainwo, Nigel Davies, Emmanuel Koivaya Amara, Mohamed Sow and Adrian Samuels, whilst the accused persons are represented by Africanus Sorie Sesay, Brima Koroma, Salia Bakarr and Siman Mans-Alie Conteh. The matter was adjourned to Wednesday 1st November, 2017.