By Victoria Saffa
The Court of Appeal of Sierra Leone has upheld the conviction of Alimu Bah, former General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).
It could be recalled that in June 2010, the High Court of Sierra Leone convicted Mr. Bah for misappropriation of donor funds in the sum of US$5,200 (five thousand two hundred United States dollars) donated to the SLFA by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), contrary to the Anti-Corruption Act. A fine of Le20 million was imposed and in the alternative, one year prison sentence.
Presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke, in rejecting the appeal, commented that “having exhaustively reviewed the evidence at trial, we have come to the conclusion that the verdict of guilty was the right one. The appeal is therefore dismissed for lack of merit”.
“This judgment is a precedent in so far as the issue of whether statutory corporations are public bodies,” said Ms. Koloneh Sankoh, Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach at the ACC in a statement on Friday.
The panel of judges, comprising Justices Vivian Solomon, E.E. Roberts and Browne-Marke, upheld the arguments submitted by ACC prosecutor Reginald S. Fynn Jr. that indeed statutory corporations like the SLFA are public bodies for purposes of the Anti-Corruption Act.
“The public is hereby reassured of the Commission’s undeterred and undaunted determination to fearlessly pursue the fight against corruption,” said Ms. Sankoh.