African Football has been hit with yet another controversy as the FIFA Council member,Mr. Constant Omari has been arrested for questioning over $1m corruption claims in DR Congo.
Omari doubles up as the second Vice President of the Confederation of African Football and has been held on suspicion of corruption and was arrested on Tuesday in a public prosecutor’s office in Congo.
The President of the Federation of Football of DR Congo is allegedly involved in embezzling money and reports suggest he was locked up on Tuesday on the orders of Luzolo Bambi, the special adviser on corruption for President Joseph Kabila.
Omari’s arrests, which include federation vice president Theobald Binamungu, federation chief financial officer Roger Bondembe and sports ministry secretary general Barthelemy Okito, come weeks after a public disagreement between the federation and the government over $1 million the federation asked for to help fund its teams and set up matches. . They were still being held on Wednesday and were questioned at the public prosecutor’s office in Kinshasa.
Moreover, a statement from Bambi’s office said the four were being questioned on suspicion of embezzlement of money given to the federation by the government.
According to Soka25East, Bambi’s office also said a fifth person is wanted for questioning, the president of the Congo Olympic committee, who is on the run.
FIFA PUTS RADAR ON DR CONGO
“Fifa is closely following the matter and gathering additional information but has no further statement to make at this stage,” Fifa said in a statement.
“More information could be released as the situation unfolds.”
A magistrate explained the four were “currently being heard” over the use of public funds in the organisation of matches in African competitions involving national sides as well as clubs.
The lawyer for the four men, Alain Makengo, told AFP they were being questioned over the embezzlement of US $1m (800,000 euros) earmarked for four matches.
The organisers of the league in DR Congo, Linafoot, have suspended all activities until further notice “in solidarity” with all those who have been detained.