April 18, 2018 8:05:18 pm
FIFA Council member Constant Omari has been arrested on suspicion of corruption and was being held Wednesday in a public prosecutor’s office in his home country of Congo for alleged involvement in embezzling money.
Omari, who is also a vice president of the Confederation of African Football, was arrested on Tuesday night on the orders of Luzolo Bambi, Congo President Joseph Kabila’s special adviser on corruption.
Omari, the president of the Congo soccer federation, was arrested along with two other federation officials and a government sports ministry official. They were still being held Wednesday and questioned at the public prosecutor’s office in Kinshasa.
A statement from the office of Bambi said the four were being questioned on suspicion of embezzlement of money given to the federation by the government to fund the Congo national team and various Congolese clubs playing in competitions across Africa.
Bambi’s office also said a fifth person wanted for questioning, the president of the Congo Olympic committee, is on the run. Bambi’s office asked the Congolese public “to kindly lend a hand to justice” by helping to catch the missing official.
The arrests of Omari, 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. The government said the amount was exorbitant.
The 60-year-old Omari was elected to the FIFA Council in 2015.
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