Breaking news – Mayor of Freetown arrested again tonight

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 October 2022:

Mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, is tonight in Police Headquarters in Freetown, after she was arrested this evening to answer further questions about allegations of misconduct and disorderly behaviour made by the police against her last month at the Lungi Airport, where a colleague – elected local councillor Sheku Turay, on 17th September was prevented from boarding an airline bound for the USA, where the mayor and the councillor were to attend various official engagements.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr could be seen in a video recorded at the scene, making emotional pleas to the police for the release of her colleague. Although Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was allowed to travel, her colleague was arrested and detained.

What then followed since her return from the USA, is that two weeks ago, the police issued a notice to Mayor Aki-Sawyerr inviting her for questioning in relation to allegations of “obstructing police work and disorderly behaviour at a police station”.

And on Monday, 3rd October 2022, after eight hours of intense interrogation, she was released on bail pending further investigations.

This evening, the Sierra Leone Telegraph was informed by the Mayor that she has been arrested and taken to CID for questioning.

“I am currently at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Sierra Leone Police. I am being charged to court for obstructing police activity as I type. I am in total shock. I am about to be “profiled” and then they are deciding whether to detain me. I am in total shock,” Mayor Aki-Sawyerr told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is a senior member of the main opposition APC party whose leaders are currently facing a barrage of harrassment and intimidation, with presidential and general elections less than a year away.

There are increasing calls for the international community to stop looking the other way, in the face of serious human rights abuses by the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio, a former military leader turned president, whose human rights record critics say – now poses serious threat to the stability of the country.


  1. When does inviting a person being invited to answer to allegations of misconduct and disorderly behaviour made by the police against her becomes an arrest?? She was invited by the police and charge to court which is a usual conduct of police all over the globe.

  2. Among a host of lawlessness and human right abuses, subjected towards our citizens by members of the current government, we have witness cabinet ministers like Abu Abu and Lawrence Leema, both alleged to have given orders or directly involve in shooting or killings of citizens, yet to date there, is no records of them either being question or even receive a simple invitation to CID. The current SLPP chairman, Prince Harding, was also alleged to have ordered the shooting to death of one of his former errand boys, again no records of an invitation to CID for questioning.

    Now compare that with a host of opposition figures who have been invited to the CID just after expressing an opinion on national TV, Radio, or social media, with trumped up charges of incitement on countless occasions. In the case of the current issue pertaining to the Mayor, her only crime is to have express on social media the unorthodox manner in which one of her municipality councillor was arrested just at the verge of onboarding a flight for an official visit to New York. Her verbal and seemingly over frustrated outburst on social media is now being allege as an ‘obstruction of police duties’.

    I am no where near of being a legal luminary, hence, i am highly interested in knowing exactly what actions constitutes or could be consider as an obstructions of police duties in the midst of a family member or friend being arrested. My intuition tells me, one has to have use physical means, in the form of barricading or using his/her body to shield the wanted suspect, with the police having to use physical force in detaining the suspect. I am not really sure how being verbal or simply expressing your frustration and disappointment towards the arresting officers can be considered as a crime.

  3. Our stillborn democarcy is in a state of flux .When we see the Sierra Leone police force acting on Bio’s orders to arrest the elected Mayor Akin Swayer, that is nationally and internationally respected and popular with statemen and heads of NGOs, is not random but a feeling of partners in crime or joint enterprise . The leadership of the Sierra Leone police force have worked out , Bio and the SLPP party’s fortunes is the only life support left for their future survival in the next government or all governments .All pretence of being impartial in executing their duties and protecting law abiding Sierra Leoeans from excessive state overreach has been thrown out of the window .Our country is entering one of the most dangerous and tense security environment , where those entrusted to up hold and and interpret the laws of the land ,independently and transparently are themselves become law breakers themselves. The Leadership of the security forces have adopted the acronym “You scrubs my back , I scrub your back ” They have read and understands Bio’s dictators handbook of how to suppress the opposition and maintain power either by hook or crook. They are effectively looking out for each other’s intrest to the detriment of our communities social cohesion and effectively putting our country’a security at great risk .Bio have given enough incentives to senior commanders of the Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces, and the members of the Sierra leone police to resist democracy and undermined the very workings of our great institutions of state , that is soly there to serve the needs of the Sierra Leonean public .And in the case of our military to uphold and defend the territorial integrity of our country .The arrest and detention of Mayor Akin Sawyer fly in the face of all our democratic credentials , and put our country at great risk of more political polarization and ethinic divisions in our country. Where is the African Union , ECOWAS, European Union ,the American government , and the Uk government , that have more at stake with events in Sierra Leone especially when things don’t work .We call on our international partners to condemn Bio’s dictatorial tendencies and order the dropping of all the cooked-up charges against Mayor Akin Sawyer .We just want peace .No more war .

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