As Sierra Leone’s first lady’s brother’s death opens pandora’s box – CID investigation in dilemma

Alim Jalloh: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 July 2021:

News of the death of the brother of Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Madam Fatima Bio became public when she posted on her Facebook page, murder accusation against the Warehouse entertainment centre at the Lumley/Aberdeen beach. This accusation has further led to much speculation, thus leaving a lot of questions unanswered.

Currently, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in central Freetown is tied up in an investigation into the matter, and officials are tight-lipped over the whole affair. However, many Sierra Leoneans are asking questions as to why the deceased was hurriedly buried?

It is a known fact that in such cases of alleged suspicious death, the investigation by the police should take precedent over any other arrangement, especially as there are laws guiding such procedures, regardless of the religious faith of the deceased.

It is therefore not an excuse to say that the deceased was a Muslim and should be hurriedly buried according to the tradition. It should be noted that a case of Murder is a state offence and should be thoroughly investigated by the police. This is the law.

Furthermore, how did the First Lady know that her brother was poisoned, especially in the absence of any serious investigation backed by medical report of an expert pathologist, which will involve a post-mortem of the corpse by an expert pathologist, who will then issue the cause of death of the deceased.

As we publish, our investigations have revealed that there is no information that an autopsy was performed on the corpse, save that a blood sample was taken and allegedly sent to Ghana, the result of which is yet to be determined.

Concerns are being raised about the medical history of the deceased. According to medical experts, both local and international, some foods react to the type of drink an individual consumes, thus, it is imperative that the medical history of the deceased is known, so as to determine whether he consumed any drink or ate any food that may have reacted and probably caused his death.

Another disturbing fact is the accusation made against the Warehouse management. In her statement, the First Lady presented the story as if she is privy to information that the police do not have, that her brother was poisoned by the entertainment centre through the food or drink he was served – a claim denied recently by the ‘Warehouse’ in a published statement.

Where did the First Lady get her information that her brother was poisoned at all, let alone at the ‘Warehouse’?

This situation has put the police investigation into the matter in a difficult position, as they are virtually arresting almost everyone working at the Warehouse centre, including security personnel, and have extended their investigations to other entertainment spots along the beach.

According to our investigations, the deceased went out with some friends to the entertainment spot and spent time with them. Are the police looking at the possibility that the deceased could have been drugged by any of his friends so as to get easy access to his cash before he regains consciousness, and things then went terribly wrong, resulting in his death?

Unfortunately, Madam Bio intimated that her brother is not a politician or businessman, but merely a footballer to have been targeted. Reading her post, it presupposes that the First Lady is of the opinion that her brother was targeted deliberately by people who were at the Warehouse.

What is her proof? Whilst one can understand her grief, yet the law should be followed to the letter.

Another question is why an autopsy was not performed on the body to determine the cause of death, instead of wild speculations? Why the hurry to bury the body? Is there something to be unearthed if an autopsy had been performed?

Many Sierra Leoneans are of the view that an autopsy performed on any corpse will obviously reveal the cause of death, as this is what is produced in a Court of Law for any conviction. It should also be noted that in any criminal trial, circumstantial evidence is not enough, especially in such cases; there is need for the exact medical report of the cause of death of the victim to be produced to remove any form of doubt in the minds of the Judge or Jury, as may be the case.

Another question is: Is a blood sample enough to determine the cause of death? What of the case when a person has an underlining medical condition and eats a food or takes a drink that has the tendency to react negatively? There are cases where people have died or nearly died after eating food that react against their medical conditions.

Medical experts can tell you that certain types of food or drinks are not suitable for people with certain medical conditions and may prove fatal if taken. Also, combinations of drinks can also be fatal, depending on the medical condition of a person.

What then is the CID investigating when there is no post-mortem examination of the deceased and report of an expert pathologist to go by? This seems like a wild goose chase.

17 Comments

  1. Brima Sesay, please don’t think that you hurt my feelings. You come across as someone I can hold a lengthy debate with, who is ready to adjust his position. This platform, thanks to mr A. R Thomas, is for the healthy exchange of ideas and free expression of views. Many thanks.

    • Mr. Santhkie Sorie, you’re more than welcome my brother, and we all thank the Admin of this noble forum. Bless you and happy”Zulhijja” to y’all.

  2. Folks,I clearly remember those chilling words I heard coming from an Italian man sitting next to me on a train that was on its way towards Staten Island in New York; ” Beware of me,” he angrily warned another man he was speaking to on the phone;” I know you can’t be touched but do not underestimate me,for I will Strike on those that you cherish and love dearly closest to your heart;” he ended with a sombre frown on his face. Those words have always stayed with me and guided my steps; They have been the light of the magnificent full moon showing me the way on dark,cold and gloomy nights. They have been my friends reminding me to tread softly and carefully in my dealings with others because it didn’t matter to the enemy if you were invincible, he could easily have the advantage in a fight by striking on those who have close ties to you like friends and family members.” Beware of me,” he advised , or I will strike on those you love dearly,closest to your heart.”

    Seriously, the First Lady and her corrupt husband are hands down responsible for the tragic ending of such a young man; This inept President doesn’t know the clear difference between his knees and his elbows; Husband and wife are out there making enemies day in and out; If the President is not killing unarmed prisoners and laughing about it, his wife is on the rampage on social media hurling threats and trading insults with people she has never even met before; Who knows where the enemy that rose up against them actually came from; Who knows good people of Sierra Leone but the wayward winds that blows what grievous injuries these two may have inflicted on poor helpless people that caused them to want to pay back wrongs and grave injustices with the same blows of vengeance they were unjustly subjected to?

    The first lady and her husband have only themselves to blame thinking they cannot be touched while forgetting that their vulnerable young innocent ones can become easy targets for a tenacious enemy hell bent of settling scores against those he believed have declared war against him.” Beware! O heedless king and Queen sitting on a golden throne, guide your steps with diligence, lest an invisible enemy Strike on those closest to you. May Almighty God console the entire family of this young man and grant him Eternal Peace.

  3. I just read in “the organiser” from today that the warehouse-six are still incarcerated. what is with the investigations, the autopsy of the late brother of fatima bio? more and more get the feeling there is something wrong within the judical system of Sierra Leone.

    Another example is the arrest of MP conteh and three others because of alleged illegal import of weapons. For me a staged story.

  4. Brima Sesay, we are saying the saying same thing my brother. Nobody runs away from death as you rightly point out. I say we will all return to Allah to give account of our deeds on Earth. It shows the beauty of the Quoran; it explains the same thing in different ways to help us understand it ,including, believe it or not, native Arabic speakers. My suggestion to Fatima Bio to read and understand the last two verses of Surah 88 is just so that if her brother was murdered, as she suspects the culprit/s will face Allah soon enough; Islam tells us that if you kill a person unjustifiably it is as you have killed the whole of mankind. I am only expressing myself this way in the belief that Fatima is a practicing Muslim, I have heard her quote the Quoran.

    • Thank you so much Mr. Santhkie, in the same Surah 88 you pointed at, my understanding shows like you were referring her to the whole surah 88 to read. I think keenly to mention (75:31-32) direction to the same surah 88 was better to direct her to read instead. Mr. Santhkie sorry if I hurt your feelings by giving you some directions, but I just want to let you know from now on, I am not an Arabic native speaker. I read, write and speak Arabic language than any other language brother. I don’t act like a”Sheikh”

      I don’t just want the innocent people to suffer for the first Lady’s late brother’s sudden death. But I see like the more people criticizing and provoking the loss, the more the family become suspicious about stuff. They should have put this issue to rest, and leave the victim to rest in peace. So brother if I hurt you I’m so sorry. We are guiding one another. Thanks

  5. Now this is a wake up call for every politicans in the country especially the high levels, watch your steps. In some developed countries, when an incident like this happens, they first off go through the victim’s contacts; phone records, WhatsApp, whom he last talked to, eat etc. The first Lady Fatima Bio was not present at the time her late brother enters the facility along with his friends, she was told. A suspect pleaded innocent until the court of law found him guilty. I personally don’t think if this should be a crime to accuse the facility, this is where the deceased last had drinks.

    Let the family halt this investigation and move on. God sees everything, Madam first Lady as a Muslim who practices her religion genuinely, please let this brother rest in peace. I don’t want innocent people suffer for this issue. God has done his will. Thank you.

  6. This is what happens when you politicise everything in the country…Today what was supposed to be a general view has now become a political one because it has happened to a first lady. A first lady who in many instances have found herself into complicated issues.In my view,Had the first lady acted in a civil way, or just mourn her lost,and allowed investigation to go on quietly,perhaps we all could not have looked into the particular lenses we all are now looking into.(politics)Every death happens with a cause.But because things are now being politicised,those causes have now become ‘finger pointing’ and ‘name calling’ without proof or evidence. Even the first lady’s boldness to come out pointing fingers at a facility,accusing it for the death of her loved one without any proof,was actually not the most ethical thing to do.

    In my opinion,she is telling the investigators (police) to go to that specific location(restaurant)and carry out investigation.A finger pointing decisions that was supposed to be made by the authorities in charge,without any influence.But as you all know,in our country,things are normally done in party lines,which also tells you what the outcome of that investigation is going to be already.

    In most instances such outcome is surely not going to be a credible one because,the whole issue is now going to be looked at different angle and judging it on different perspectives because it is from the first lady….This is why Fatima bio should not have come out the way she did in this whole matter.

  7. I am glad that we have so many professionals that are well educated, also are ready to do everything within their powers to educate others in this noble platform; indeed we appreciate that. Mr. Santhkie, the Surah 88 that you referred the first lady to, I don’t think that was the right Surah you should have chosen for her to read. I believe the Holy Quran consists of 114 Surah, and 6,666 verses. The Surah (Aqhashiyah which is the 88 surah you mentioned, in English meaning “The overwhelming”.

    If you do really wanted to preach to the first Lady, simply refer her to Surah Al-Mu’minun: verse 115 where God says “Did you suppose that we created you for amusement and that you would not return to us?” Also the mighty God has further elaborated this fact in Surah Jummah, verse 8: Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be return to the knower of the Unseen and the visible and He will inform you about what you did…
    Quran in Surah AL’Imran, verse(3:185).

    “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is distanced from the fire and admitted to the garden has triumphed. The life of the world is just the enjoyment of delusions.” So from this point of view, I would like our sister the first Lady H.E. to acknowledge that, from the first man on earth till now there so many appeared and passed away, each and every person must experience the taste of death. Death is certain end of mankind, it happens to people in the past, it will happen to us, and to yet unborn in the future. Madam first lady, may your brother’s soul rest in peace. God guide us

  8. No one should be arrested for this young man’s death, as an autopsy wasn’t performed. The staff members should just have been questioned. I feel that we are now living in a dictatorship state. If the police cannot find any evidence they need to release everyone they’ve arrested. Unfortunately some poor innocent will be blamed, as the police are scared on incurring the 1st Lady’s wrath. In her grief she has shown a terrifying side to her personality and unfortunately if this is a pattern that is ongoing our country is in for a rude awakening…..May the young man rest in peace….

    • “If the police cannot find any evidence they need to release everyone they’ve arrested.” Absolutely Jo King. See how the case has been messed up due to some reckless decisions taken by who? Only God knows. God bless Mr Jo King for his insight and straight talk.

  9. Brima Sesay, thank you for responding to my piece. There seems to be a slight misunderstanding on your part about the inference of some of my statements. President Bio, as Commander – in – Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces carries ultimate responsibility for their actions, they are under his control as civilian head of government. Indeed Maada Bio is the number one security officer in the country; that’s why he has the constitutional power to replace any of his subordinates who does not follow orders, or whose performance is mediocre. Therefore, if a soldier opens fire and kill civilians at Makani, that’s Bio’s responsibility; if a soldier kills a prisoner at Pademba Road Prison, Bio is responsible; if a soldier kills civilians at Tombo, Bio is responsible; if a young man is killed in the south because he supports the opposition party, Bio is responsible. I hope I have given enough examples, Mr Brima Sesay, for you to understand that the President of our country at any one time carries enormous responsibilities which cannot be shifted to any one else.

    Mr Sesay, you cannot, in excellent conscience, deny the fact that those who die at the hands of security forces have family who love them with no conditions attached. They suffer the same emotional pain which Fatima Bio is now going through over the death of her brother, an extremely painful experience. I mentioned President Bio only for him to understand that when his forces kill someone, the family of the victim experience the same pain that he and his wife are now subjected to, particularly considering the circumstances which Fatima suspects are responsible for the sudden death of her brother.

    The last two verses of Surah 88, as Fatima may know, simply state how sooner or later we shall all go through the door of death, whereupon we shall face The Almighty to give account of our actions while on Earth. If, as Fatima suspects, her brother was poisoned ,the perpetrators will face the consequences. In the same vein, her husband will face questions about not quelling the excesses of his security forces on civilians. Our soldiers should be there to protect us by standing in harms way, not to unnecessarily kill us.

  10. May the young man’s soul rest in peace and may First Lady Fatima’s faith in GOD (Allah) be the source of her consolation.

  11. My dear brother Mr. Santhkie Sorie, I personally admire all the statements in your article. But that last paragraph of your statement sayin “I won’t go into details beyond telling the husband of Fatima (Maada Bio) that he should use the occasion of the death of his brother-in-law to question his actions which have led to deaths in various parts of the country. Those who lost their lives had people who loved them unconditionally. Fatima, please read the last two verses of Surah 88 and draw your husband’s attention to it. Try to memorise it yourself”. I see no reason to make such a comparison. My question is, who are these people that the first lady’s actions made them lost their lives? I believe since he took office, many incidents had happened, can you specify? I don’t think any responsible person in this noble platform would like to lose a love one, even if that’s natural from God, let alone done by individual to take an innocent life that he/she did not create. According to the Islamic rules of law, when a muslim dies you have to rush the burial as soon as possible.

    I said it before that if I were to advice the entire family, the whole investigation should have not started in the first place. What kind of training our law enforcements have received to tackle such a difficult situation like this? The criminal Investigation Department(CID), what do you think they can accomplish in this investigation? We don’t have CIS, ID, Investigative Discovery, no well trained Detectives from the police Dept, to thoroughly investigate this murder case and bring out a credible result, have we?

    Mrs. Fatima Bio and family, the more you bring out this issue to the public, the more they hurt your feelings and added more pain on you. Thats what your enemies are looking for. (We are for God, and to Him we shall return), may God have mercy on your late brother. Former Chief of Defense Staff Samuel Omar Williams was shot dead inside his home in Devil Hole village near the capital Freetown early in the morning, a military general. What happened, was there any investigation? May your late brother’s soul rest in peace. Amen.

  12. Most people are missing the point here in my view. Autopsy should be carried out where there is suspicion of foul play or criminal act. The laws of some, if not all muslin countries have provisions to carry out autopsy on someone killed on such mysterious circumstances or by foul play. Period! When someone dies and there is evidence of criminal act or foul play, the law of the land is paramount.

    Are they telling me that the death of a Muslim killed by foul play or criminal act should not be investigated? An autopsy should have been carried out on the late Young man’s body to shed light on the course of death, rather than blaming a restaurant, bar or whatever. Was the autopsy not carried out because of religion, family or the police? Dangerous stuff. God guide and protect our Muslim brothers and sisters from murderers, who will be hoping to go scorch free because there will be no autopsy. Amen and Amen. Father God.

  13. Death is always a sad occurrence whatever the circumstances are and what the age of the person is. It’s the totality and finality of it which generate the grief – the deceased will never come back in any form that the living are aware of. It is at this moment that things, some of them irrational, may be said with serious ripple effects. Fatima Bio has been caught in the middle of this scenario as the death of her brother tears her apart.

    But the incident also reveals two things. First, it reveals a defective and unprofessional investigative infrastructure in the country which Maada Bio should now address; he cannot dodge it nor can he defer it until another suspicious death drops in his lap. A professionally well trained police force would have stood firm, or even get an injunction from a judge, to have the body preserved until a thorough investigation had been carried out. I am not a Muslim scholar, but Islam does make room for exceptional circumstances. Had this been adhered to, the whole nation and Fatima Bio would have known the exact cause of death to allay all false deductions. I remember, as a boy, the Lumley Police refused to have a murdered man buried until they were through with their investigation, even though the murdered man was a Muslim. But these were the final days of professionalism in Sierra Leone – Siaka Stevens had entered the scene.

    The second thing which the death of the young man has revealed is how divided we have become as a nation, where some deaths are more important than others. I won’t go into details beyond telling the husband of Fatima (Maada Bio) that he should use the occasion of the death of his brother-in-law to question his actions which have led to deaths in various parts of the country. Those who lost their lives had people who loved them unconditionally. Fatima, please read the last two verses of Surah 88 and draw your husband’s attention to it. Try to memorise it yourself .

  14. It is so sad to lose a loved one at such a young age, but even worse when it is so sudden and under dubious circumstances. Indeed why was a post mortem not carried out? That hopefully would have established cause of death. I suppose the only way to confirm that he was poisoned is if someone confesses to have poisoned him. Otherwise, the body could be exhumed for examination by a pathologist. Profound condolences go to the First lady and the rest of his family. May he rest in perfect peace.

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