Sierra Leone Bar Association mourns the death of Barrister Imran Rahman

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 December 2016

Families and communities across Sierra Leone will today – Christmas Day, be mourning the deaths of Barrister Imran Rahman and the country’s former head of the military Lieutenant-General Samuel Omar Williams, after both were gruesomely killed by armed attackers in their homes.

Speaking yesterday to the distraught son of Barrister Rahman – Mr. Nazmi Rahman, who lives in London, one gets a true sense of what it really means to lose a father – a loved one, in such horrific and despicable circumstances.

Lieutenant General S.O. Williams, Barrister Rahman and a countless number of children and hard working citizens murdered in cold blood by criminals, are the innocent victims of a society that is heading closer once again to self-destruction, simply because those upon whom the affairs of state have been entrusted, are far too busy feathering their own nests, rather than promoting the interests of society in general.

Freetown – the capital city of Sierra Leone has become the dumping ground and mafia territory for thousands of homeless, jobless and drugged-up youths, who have become hardcore professional criminals.

The government is now faced with a youth and crime crisis of its own making. And how it responds to the rising wave of brutal murders in the capital remains to be seen.

But one thing is clear. The increasing armed attack on the hard working people of Sierra Leone by those elements in society who believe that their only means of livelihood and survival is to steal from others and kill them in the process, cannot be sustainable nor will it contribute towards the hard task of rebuilding peace and harmony in Sierra Leone.

Society cannot be at peace with itself, as long as those it refers to as rejects are left to operate and survive on the margins of existence.

But Sierra Leone has a much bigger problem in combating crime. With a highly politicised police force that is headed by senior officers whose work ethics makes them unfit to be in the force; and whose priority is about their own daily survival, then fighting crime and protecting the lives of citizens in their homes is not an objective.

When president Koroma took office in 2007, one of his mantras back then which he has quietly dropped was ‘zero tolerance for corruption’. How can one expect turkey to vote for Christmas?  But has Koroma ever announced a zero tolerance for crime – especially murder?

Sixty-percent of the population of Sierra Leone are under the age of 35. If the majority of young people turn their backs on morality, law and order, and those core values of society – such as education, hard work in return for a just and fair day’s pay or reward, the sanctity of life, and respect for the property of others and the community, because they cannot see the point of upholding those values, then Sierra Leone will most certainly become a failed state once again.

Yesterday, as the family of Barrister Rahman received outpouring of condolences from friends and professional associates, the country’s Bar Association (SLBA) issued this statement, which clarifies some of the rumours that have been published by sections of the media about the circumstances of the death of Barrister Rahman, and the latest development as regards the police investigations.

This is what SLBA said in its statement:

“The Sierra Leone Bar Association regrets to announce the death of Imran Rahman Esq formerly of Preston Chambers & former Magistrate residing at Marjay Town, Freetown.

“Upon paying a visit to the family, Executive members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association present at the scene of the incident were duly informed that he was allegedly attacked and brutally murdered by strangulation in the evening hours of Friday 23rd December 2016, by intruders posing as potential clients at his Marjay Town residence.

“The family further explained that the survivor of the attack – a 7 year old boy, is assisting the police in their investigations and that 2 of 3 alleged suspects are currently in police custody.

“The Sierra Leone Bar Association strongly condemns the brutal murder of one of its very senior members and urges the police and authorities concerned to speedily investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The Executive of the Sierra Leone Bar Association has extended heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased senior on behalf of its entire membership.

“May his soul rest in perfect peace?”

Dated: 24th December, 2016

Signed
Ashmia Fofanah – Assistant Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

6 Comments

  1. A government that does not inspire high hopes to its people is bound to fail in any attempt to hold on to power by whatever means. This is the fate that awaits the APC government; no tactics or dubious plans can save their imminent political crash in 2018.

    The people are disillusioned and have no trust in the APC government anymore; they have failed and ruined the nation in all senses. The citizenry have been impoverished beyond imagination in a long decade of rule; the government has proved incapable of even providing effective security to the citizens.

    The spate of violence in the city against prominent personalities and the circumstances they unfold raise some suspicions of a conspiracy plan on the making to intimidate strong opponents, for clearing the way to usurp power and perpetuate in government in 2018.

    The state police seem to be looking on the other side in the midst of such violence on citizens, not responding in time when called upon to rescue and protect victims. The people do demand an explanation from the police why such lethargy in their service delivery? We are eager to know the reason behind this behaviour. The police salaries come from taxpayers’ money.

    The woes befalling the society is the effect of bad governance, corruption, graft, power abuse and disrespect for the rule of law by power thirsty politicians and state authorities. We wouldn’t stop denouncing these practices until our governments step up efforts to tackle this social menace seriously.

    All of these are the causes of ineffective delivery of duties by state authorities. Crime rate increase in the country is due to police ineffectiveness in their duty execution. Policing must be active in order to keep criminals at bay. If there is shortage of police, government should recruit the unemployed to strengthen the force. It is worth undertaking such investment.

    Some journalists who enjoy privilege from the government tend to be absolutely blind to the ills inflicted on the citizens due to bad governance, and corrupt culture of government officials. They play the devil’s role for a share of the embezzled funds in detriment to the masses welfare. They go all out to deceive the populace that government is doing well and disqualify citizens with good intention for the progress of the country.

    A repugnant article I read (on Sierra Leone News app) written by one Tony Bee on December 27, caption: RECENT KILLINGS OF FORMER ARMY CHIEF AND LAWYER IMRAN RAHMAN A CALL FOR DECISIVE ACTION, speaks volume of the KIND of journalist I referred to above. The content is not typical of a professional in his own right. The article is an expression of strong malice against Diasporans for the wrong reason.

    Tony Bee accused Diasporans of being conflict agitators in the country for criticizing the APC government failure to transform the country and usher in a welfare living condition to the populace. He seems to despise Diasporans for sensitizing the people and even went further – pointing blunt finger at Alie Kabba and other flag bearers’ aspirants as conflict agitators. He went to the extent of recommending that President Ernest Koroma uses oppressive rule against the people. As he comes across as too soft and lenient that’s why crime and lawlessness in the country are on the increase.

    But he is missing the point as he fails to realize that power abuse, corruption in naked light, and political oppression in the midst of abject poverty in the country are the very enemies of peace. What the people want to see in Sierra Leone is a government at the service of the people and not a force of oppression.

    I recommend you read Tony Bee’s article in: THE SALONE MONITOR PAPER

  2. It is unspeakable the way our beloved country is heading today. Every now and then we hear about the killing of innocent people. God knows why all this brutality is embedded in our country.

    In the western world such as Britain, this will never occur without justice. I therefore hope the Sierra Leone government will do all they can to get those that are responsible for these acts and bring them to justice in accordance with the law.

    Meanwhile, my sincere sympathy to the Rahman Family in London and Sierra Leone.

  3. Concerned Citizen, that is your view and opinion about the SLPP. In Africa, democracy only exist in theory and not in practice. SLPP is a force to reckon with, but opposition parties in Africa are always silenced by those in power.

    Be rest assured that once those people you mentioned (Kandeh Yumkella, Alie Kabba, Andrew Kellie, Jonathan Tengbe) are out during the SLPP convention, we will get over the storm and Bio will lead us peacefully come 2018.

    With these kinds of brutal killings, our lives are in danger. We are like cows ready to be slaughtered at anytime and anywhere. God will bring to judgement all those who master minded and those who carried out these killings and many other killings in our beloved nation.

    May the families they left behind overcome the sorrow and fear they are faced with.

  4. The “devil” is on the run. But do not allow fear to contaminate your FAITH. PEACE and TRANQUILLITY will eventually TRIUMPH. The perpetrators will be brought to JUSTICE BY GOD’S WILL.

  5. Two murders of prominent people in as many days!! At moments like these it is extremely difficult for one to control one’s emotions.

    The anger and frustration are palpable to the point where one wonders whether Earnest Koroma and his police chief – Francis Munu – do not habour gangster tendencies all along, but which are just surfacing now in all their diabolical dimensions.

    How else can one explain the seemingly impotence and inaction of a government which does not care about the personal security of its people?

    The only explanation that I can offer is that the people who make up such a government have never gone through the gruesome effects of losing a loved one at the hands of criminals. Had Earnest Koroma, his vice president or any of those who make up the government, including the useless parliamentarians, lost a brother, a son, a daughter or any blood relative to a murderer, I am ready to bet my life that they would have since done something about it. They would have even considered the death penalty.

    If the government allows its brain to function properly it will immediately realise that a violent nation does not attract much investment or tourism, two key elements which Sierra Leone desperately needs for economic growth even with massive attention given to infrastructural development which the Koroma Government seems to concentrate on.

    All we need now is for a single Westerner to be murdered in the streets of Freetown and Sierra Leone will be painted as a no-go country by the international media, which at the best of times have trouble portraying so-called sub-sahara Africa in a good light.

    Earnest Koroma must wake up from his slumber and stand up not only as a leader but, more importantly, as a man to address the darkening criminal clouds which now hang over his country or we are finished forever.

    SLPP cannot even efficiently clean up their own house. Let us don’t turn to them. We need a third force.

    • We must indeed look to a third force.

      Kandeh Yumkella, Alie Kabba, Andrew Kellie, Jonathan Tengbe should leave SLPP and form their own party and we will support them. I am sure they will be an effective opposition.

      Clinging onto the coats of a divisive party like SLPP makes them useless and ineffective and they will go nowhere.

      Maada Bio recently told the youths that life is difficult right now, but they should be patient till 2018 when SLPP comes to power and things will change. Why not hold the present APC government to account and insist that things must change for the better for the citizens right now?

      Who has time to wait till 2018 when you are very ill or very hungry or jobless? SLPP is a very ineffective opposition; in fact I dont think they understand what being an opposition party means.

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