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.