Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 March 2015
There are shocking reports from Freetown of the arrest and detention of one of Sierra Leone’s senior lawyers belonging to the Bar Association, at a meeting where they were discussing the decision of president Koroma to relieve vice president Sam Sumana of his duties contrary to the constitution.
The storming of the meeting by armed security militia is seen as a further attempt by president Koroma and his cronies to squash dissent and opposition in the country by the use of brutal force.
President Koroma’s decision is now widely regarded by all independent constitutional experts as unconstitutional and illegal. The president on Thursday appointed a new vice president.
Police brutality is not uncommon in Sierra Leone, but the use of police violence against peaceful barristers going about their constitutional duty has brought the country close to dictatorship and anarchy.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has learnt that the country’s Trade Unions are discussing industrial action in protest at the constitutional crisis created by the president.
It is also understood that students are planning to take to the streets of the capital Freetown. demanding the rescinding of the unlawful decision to appoint a new vice president contrary to the country’s constitution.
The police say that the meeting was being held by the Bar Association in violation of the state of emergency regulation that is currently in force.
But this argument is weak, and is evidence of selective justice by the police. On Thursday night, the ruling APC party held a political rally at its headquarters in Freetown, celebrating the appointment of the new vice president – Victor Foh.
Hundreds of jubilating party faithfuls attended that rally. Was this not a violation of the same state of emergency regulation?
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has tried to contact Inspector General Francis Munu for comments on the fate and condition of the barrister, who is being held behind bars, but to no avail.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph will bring you more on this developing story as it unfolds.