Femi Claudius Cole and Dr Bright spending fourth night behind bars as opposition APC MPs are attacked in parliament

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 July 2022:

Serious concerns are being raised tonight about the health of Sierra Leone’s opposition politicians – Femi Claudius-Cole and Dennis Bright who are both spending their fourth night in detention at CID without charge.

They were arrested last Sunday for allegedly inciting several women in Freetown to take part in street protest against rising cost of living and growing poverty in the country.

Dozens of women who were arrested and detained have been released. Announcing their release and the fate of Femi and Dennis, this is what the Sierra Leone police said in a statement published today:

In another development, yesterday Tuesday – there was chaos and violence in the country’s parliament after five days of debate regarding the controversial Public Elections Bill. An opposition APC MP – Alieu Conteh sustained head injury, after he was stoned and became unconscious.

Despite the violence experienced by opposition MPs, allegedly inflicted by supporters of the government in the precinct of parliament whilst the police looked on, the following four APC MPs have been invited for questioning by CID – Abdul Kargbo, Aron Koroma, Honourable Turay and Mohamed Bangura:

Although there were many witnesses at the scene, there have been no arrests made and no one charged in respect of the APC Member of Parliament Alieu Conteh, who was stoned in parliament yesterday.

2 Comments

  1. I listened to every side of the problem leading to what happened in parliament. The problem lies squarely with the framers of the bill or act. I observed from the debate that the leader of the ruling party Hon Nyuma and the speaker were in a dire and tricky situation to defend the bill. It came to a point where I thought they would remove the speaker and the leader of the ruling party in parliament from their position. Here was a leader who did all he could to convince the house of the bill.
    On the other hand, you have a speaker determined to protect his academic credentials(a very sound Cambridge unicersity PhD graduate), the rule of law and his legacy. He used the word treason at some point in the debate. What happened in our parliament was scary. “Talk half lef half”. Correct me if I’m wrong, ladies and gentlemen. Parliament should be a sacred place where MPs do their work without fear or favour, not a battleground for political parties. Also, I believe our parliamentarians must not be in the habit of bringing their supporters to parliament on such a controversial and heated issue—especially those getting their supporters from the provinces. Hon Saa Emmerson Lamina said in parliament that they paid ten million leones to transport their supporters to Freetown. Correct me if I’m wrong. Let’s say the problem in parliament deteriorated where supporters of the C4C were injured or arrested. What should the C4C have spoken to the people of Kono? Maybe these people don’t know where Connaught hospital is and don’t even know the area. What would have happened if police should have come and arrested their members or if their members had been injured? My advice to all the political parties is never to bring down your supporters to participate in any parliamentary debate in this present atmosphere.
    Concerning my position on the debate, I would like the politicians on both sides of the divide to unite and put political water to dilute the political wine or leave the present voting system.
    Also, President Bio should sack the framers of this bill. You can’t just frame a bill with loads of controversial fluid clauses to make your leader of parliament and speaker vulnerable to political humiliation and the opposition. The astonishing thing in parliament that day was that the speaker Dr Abass Bundu was on top of the situation. Thank God he was not a graduate from “Yea Dominion Yea”. This man studied when we had no internet or social media. He learned with textbooks or notes from his lecturers. A very sound scholar indeed. His times were when you had to burn the midnight oil(“Shadow”) to succeed.
    I advise the speaker to suspend this bill if he thinks the parliamentarians don’t want to put water in the wine to come to a happy conclusion or stop it entirely.
    Finally, I’m always worried when it comes to the 1991 constitution. But, the votes concerning the two-thirds – 2/3 majority seem to be effective. There are no other interpretations. If you don’t have the votes, you don’t. You are forced to consult the other side or forget the whole show. Why were many areas of the constitution different and controversial? Reform the constitution, I say.
    God bless Dr Abass Bundu, our MPs and the constitution.

  2. Now I think the SLPP and Bio apologist on this platform should look at the scenes in the wells of our parliament and explained to us what is really going on .Dr Femi Cole and Dr Bright are detained for allegedly inciting Pepe women to demonstrate against the cost of living crises that is taking it’s tolls on the lives of struggling families up and down the country .It was alleged that this protesting women that were armed with posters that says enough is enough and the sword of truth would have attacked a well armed Sierra Leone police force with AK 47 rifles and trigger happy force that is known to kill peaceful demonstration at the drop of a hat with out baiting an eyelid .Any one who drew up such charges against Dr .Femi Cole and Dr Bright should spare us all the hassle and check themselves at Kissy mental home to check their mental well-being or better still visit the local which doctors for exorcism for the degree of duble standards and hypocrisy that have taken possession of their souls at CID headquarters in Freetown.

    Over the past four years , the Rupblic of Sierra Leone police force that is constitutionally mandated to carry out their duties ,that is to maintain law and order and protect life and property have over time done away with all pretence of being an independent public body serving the interest of the public but now unashamedly become a para military militia like the days of the Stevens ISU later broken up and reincarnated as the SSD units that is solely answerable to the president at state housh that defend the interest of the sitting government of the day .The late inspector general of police Hon Bambay Kamara ,who took his duties seriously was able to navigate between the community police officers that we see in our neighbourhood and those Cuban and North Korean trained SSD unite that were solely there to protect the Stevens government after many so-called coup attempts against his regime .

    But Bio have gone further , in his gest to protect his failed government at all cost ,he have managed to neutralize the National Sierra Leone police force to sweet his whims and turned them to his private militia led by the CID that are meant to be dealing with serious criminals like murder cases and the rest We have an inspector general of police in Commusioner Suluva that has a blinding royalty to Bio .If Bio ask him to jump he says how high sir ?.How on earth do we allow our country to sink so low , that Sierra Leoen and North Korea can be interchange in the same breaths when we talked about our tinpot wanna be dictator Bio that says a lot about how our young democracy is now in a state of flux. Now if we say we are all equal before the eyes of the law , the police should probe the activities of the SLPP thugs or Ray Raymen that caused the injuries of the APC opposition MPs in parliament .There shouldn’t be one rule for one and a different rule for the rest of us.Lonta!

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