Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 October 2022:
Veteran human rights and constitutional lawyer – Barrister Ady Macauley (Photo above) spent last night behind bars in Freetown, after he was arrested by police following his appearance weeks ago on AYV TV, where he gave his legal interpretation of the country’s freedom of assembly laws to the anger of government officials and the ruling SLPP.
Lawyer Macauley’s arrest comes on the heels of the Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr appearing at the police headquarters on Monday, for an eight-hour questioning, for alleged “obstruction of police duties and disorderly behaviour” at a police station where her fellow elected local councillor was being detained.
Aki-Sawyerr arrived at the police station for questioning on Monday at 10am and was released at about 6pm.
Macauley, who is a former head of the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission under the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC government, was banned from travelling by the incoming SLPP government in 2018, a decision that had since been revoked.
And in May 2020, Macauley was arrested for questioning following protests over the killing in cold blood of over 40 unarmed prisoners in Freetown by presidential guards.
But the political harassment, intimidation, wrongful arrests and incarceration of politicians with whom the SLPP government disagrees continue, raising worrying questions about the fast approaching general and presidential elections next June.
Reactions to Macauley’s arrest have been swift
Sierra Leone’s Legal Link Director- Rashid Dumbuya, said: “I have been reliably informed that Ady Macaulay Esq. may spend the night in detention at the Criminal Investigations Department. This is a worrying trend indeed and the Sierra Leone Bar Association must not be silenced on this. No government, SLPP, NGC, C4C, or APC must be allowed to treat a lawyer in this way for expressing his opinion on the law.”
Other prominent political commentators have also expressed strong comments about Macauley’s arrest and detention, and are calling for his immediate release:
Many Sierra Leoneans now believe that President Maada Bio is a political trojan horse and a dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothing that cannot be allowed to continue in power for another term of office next year. The former head of a military junta that deposed the APC government in 1992, killing dozens of people is seen by critics as a danger to Sierra Leone’s liberal democracy.
“A healthy personality actively masters his environment, shows a certain unity of personality, and is able to perceive the world and himself correctly”. For a man to be on track to live a healthy personality I sometimes consider it my task to approach this question from the genetic point of view: How does a healthy personality grow or as it were, accrue from successive stages of increasing capacity to master life’s outer and inner dangers.
Personality can be said to develop according to steps predetermined in the human organism’s readiness to be driven towards, to be aware of, and to interact with, a widen social radius or at any rate that segment of mankind which counts in the particular individual’s life. The basic trust society has for the individual without any political atonement counts. The autonomy you have to do things in a just form without any political or I’ll feelings also counts. And perhaps the initiative you develop to solve or resolve issues in an amicable manner also counts.
Sierra Leone is a country of wise men and women living together and sharing everything in common. Our constitution is applicable in all the four cardinal points of Sierra Leone. Our cultures, values and norms are being integrated through our inter marriages and school environments. What is very important is to be a healthy personality. Sometimes, I often ask myself this question, why do certain people find it difficult to become a healthy personality? Remember ! It takes someone several years to make a good character of himself, but just a few seconds to lose his/her credibility. Strive hard to be a healthy personality.
The supression of freedom of speech has continued unabated under this Bio kleptocracy .So when we hear Bio make his hypocritical statements on repealing of the 1965 libel and sedition Act , and is praised by some section of the Sierra Leoenean press , and religious organisations that has been active cheer leaders of his supression of freedom of speech , you wonder what was the point of that exercise if a human rights lawyer can not express himself or in this case Lawyer Macauley is seen as a threat to the security of the state of Sierra leone for daring to interpret the right to freedom of assembly which resulted in him forfieting his freedom and independence , for thinking and saying what he thinks is right . We should not blame him but the framers of the 1991 Sierra Leoen constitutions .Mr Maculeay is only reading and interpreting what the constitution says on FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY .He didn’t hold up a bank .And he doesn’t deserve to be detained. We call on the government to release him .
The Biden, administration ,the Liz Truss premiership and the Europen Union the main backers of this Bio dictatorship have all professed to defend the rights of private citizens all over the world to express themselves with out the fear of any repercussion from their government .Is about time our western partners stands up and be counted with the people of Sierra Leone and defend the rights of Sierra Leoeans in the face of massive government over reach. They have kept Bio on a long lease and is about time they put their mouth where their money is , in the form of the aid they are rendering to prop up his government .The aid money from international financial institution like the IMP and Workd Bank has to come with strings attached , that is respect for individuals rights , free press and most importantly the Rule of law.Bio and his government remains a present and clear danger to the security of Sierra leone.The same failed policies of vendetta politics and witchcraft he has pursued since taken office has remains the same .
The only thing that is consistent with Bio is that he is consistent with suppressing the rights of private citizens expressing themselves .That would be his legacy he left behind .The worst president our country have had for a long time .And when a government chock off the air vent of peoples means of expressing themselves , the outcomes has always been the same .Streets protest as we witnessed on the 10th of August 2022 which unfortunately left a number of security and ordinary young people killed .In the aftermath of those cost of living demonstration , Bio set up a public inquiry .But we all know the causes of the riot . Only a fool like Bio and his surrogates will deny those facts in face of overwhelming evidence that placed squarely the problems on Bio’a lap .
The detention of Mr Maculaey and Mayor Akin Sawyer are just the sort of poisonous seeds that germinate national political ,tribal and social unrest in our country . Because all right thinking Sierra Leosneans will see how Bio’s selective justice is at work . Is more like it’s on steroids as we head for the 2023 presidential elections .The suppression of individual rights and weaponizing of the Republic of Sierra Leone police force as an SLPP militia forces , rather as an independent body that represent the aspiration of all Sierra Leoneans , as interpeters of the law and defenders of life and property, goes to show if anything, Bio hasn’t learned an iota of lesson of what really is the underling factors driving people in to the streets of Freetown and other parts of the country .And he is creating more enemies for himself both nationally and internationally for detaining one of the best ambassadors that has the interest of our country at heart .Mayor Akin Sawyer remains and continue to enjoy the support of the vast majority of Sierra Leonean.Bio is a looser and continue to show us he is a real looser .Is time we give him the RED CAR
President “Talk and Do” Bio predicted that “corruption will fight back” when he launched the Commission Of Inquiry and this has been manifested. Ady Macauley whose duty was to hold government officials accountable during the misrule of the “Ayampie” People’s Congress (APC) party was aiding and abetting in the destruction of our economy which resulted in AUSTERITY.
Unfortunately, he continues to defend these “Ayampies” who have paid back some of their loot and made payment arrangements with the current ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala who has restored accountability and credibility in our country since 2018 based on the MCC score card and Transparency International.
Since the whistle blower and former publicity secretary Sidi Yayah Tunis declared “LEVEL THREE” on Radio 98.1, I believe that Ady Macauley also misled some gullible supporters within the APC about the Law with regards to demonstrations in our country.
With regards to Mayor Aki Sawyer, I believe that since the August 10 demonstration, she is now the “Denier-In- Chief in our country.
She has also been assuming the role of the the Statistician General , Chief Electoral Commissioner and recently the Inspector General of Police. If she only focuses all her time and energy in transforming Freetown, our capital city will be one of the cleanest in our region.
Let’s continue to pray for a smooth and speedy investigation of the August 10 insurrection which was rejected by most patriotic citizens that respected the RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY.
The government of Sierra Leone and the international community have successfully held former Liberian President Charles Taylor, former rebel leader Foday Sankoh, and former military leader Johnny Paul Koroma to account for their destruction of lives and properties in our beloved nation. I am optimistic that the financiers, planners and orchestrators of this UNPATRIOTIC activities will also be held accountable.