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Management of Force Covid-19 Funds : The Countdown Begins – Lequotidien



The Public Prosecutor has announced an opening of a preliminary investigation in the case of the management of the Covid 19 funds. Amady Diouf‘s cabinet has informed that he has given this mission to the judicial police unit of the Division of Criminal Investigations (DIC).

Investigations will be conducted following the Court of Auditors’ report on the management of Covid-19 funds. The public prosecutor of the Dakar High Court has activated the Criminal Investigations Division (Dic). In a statement, Amady Diouf informs: « The analysis of the information contained in the report suggesting potential violations of the law and the existence of criminal offences, including crimes against public funds and other related offences such as corruption and abuse of office, I asked the units of the judicial police of the Criminal Investigation Division, in compliance with the guiding principles of criminal procedure and the rights of defendants, to open, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 67 of the CCP, preliminary investigations in order to establish the materiality of the facts denounced, to gather evidence, to elucidate the circumstances surrounding the above-mentioned acts and to identify, where applicable, all perpetrators and persons who aided or abetted the commission of the acts or benefited in any way from the proceeds of crime. »

In his press release, the prosecutor maintains that « these investigations, in view of the seriousness of the facts denounced and the nature of the funds in question, must be started without delay and conducted quickly as well as with greatprofessional and procedural rigour« . Continuing his remarks, Mr. Diouf underlines that these investigations which he has decided to initiate, « justified by the provisions of articles 32 and following of the Code of Criminal Procedure, taken, in view of the foregoing, a capital importance as that they ultimately make it possible to sanction and deter acts which are all the more serious in that they seriously disturb economic public order and public order in general”; moreover, points out the prosecutor, the denounced acts which mark strong suspicions of capture of resources by civil servants supposed to serve the public interest disfigure and undermine the efforts of the State in its initiatives tending to provide basic services (water, health, sanitation, education, etc.) to the most vulnerable sections of society, in addition to diminishing our common capacities to promote efficient public policies, in addition to annihilating the confidence that populations must nurture in a republican framework of public institutions.

By launching this procedure, Amady Diouf also wants to comply with « the international and regional commitments that the country has subscribed to, particularly through the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on the Prevention and the Fight against Corruption of ECOWAS on the fight against corruption ». Therefore, he has asked judicial police officers to « report to him, at the end of the investigations, any person whose responsibility can indisputably be engaged for any offence in connection with the facts denounced ». These persons, assured Mr. Diouf, “will be rigorously brought before the courts and punished in accordance with the law”. In addition, the public prosecutor informs, « In the same spirit, asset investigations should be judiciously initiated by the investigators in order to facilitate the recovery of assets and to trace, if necessary, the proceeds of crime as soon as it is established that the resources of the Response Fund come from readjustments of the State budget, voluntary contributions motivated by the outpouring of solidarity from citizens and the support of technical and financial partners”.

It should be noted that the Court of Auditors, in its audit report of the Covid-19 Response and Solidarity Fund (Covid-19 Force), found several irregularities in the execution of expenditure eligible for resources. The report had revealed, inter alia, a cumulation in the payment of premiums, over-invoicing in the acquisition of certain products, in particular rice, selection of equipment suppliers without proven experience in the field. Financial embezzlement which, according to the government, concerns 6 billion 686 million 784 thousand 410 CFA francs. Of the 85 recommendations made by the Court of Auditors in its report, 12 concerns the opening of judicial investigations against several officials of the Senegalese administration. Convinced that the ministers implicated in this case will not be prosecuted, the deputies of Yewwi askanwihave tabled on the table of the President of the National Assembly, a motion for a resolution of impeachment before the High Court of Justice. It concerns 10 ministers.

By Dieynaba KANE / 

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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