More senior opposition APC officials arrested for alleged coup in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 December 2023:

Bai Mahmoud Bangura, the National Organising Secretary of Sierra Leone’s main opposition APC party was yesterday arrested at his residence by armed police, as the wave of arrests of senior APC officials continues in response to what the government says was an attempted coup last Sunday. (Photo above: Former President Koroma).

Earlier yesterday, social media was rife with unconfirmed reports of the arrest of the former president of Sierra Leone, – Ernest Bai Koroma, who until 2018 was the chairman and leader of the APC.

According to reports, at about 10am yesterday, Thursday November 30, 2023, truckloads of armed military and police personnel arrived at the Femi Turner Drive, Goderich residence in Freetown of former president Koroma. (Photo: APC’s Bai Mahmoud who was arrested yesterday).

Heavily armed soldiers and police blocked roads leading to the residence. All members of staff of the former president were arrested for questioning and taken to the CID.

The police conducted a search of the property but is unclear whether the former president was in the house.

It is also understood that about 30 armed security personnel stormed the Universal Church in  Goderich, presumably looking for suspects of last Sunday’s alleged coup.

A video recorded by staff of the former president yesterday, shows an SUV belonging to and believed to be carrying the former president, being driven towards the central police station in Freetown. According to the reporter, the former president was heading to the CID for questioning.

But the Sierra Leone Telegraph was reliably informed that Ernest Bai Koroma was not under arrest, but had gone to the CID to ensure that his arrested staff and Bai Mahmoud were being treated fairly and humanely by the police.

Yesterday the government confirmed that so far, the number of government soldiers killed last Sunday stands at fifteen, and one police officer.

There are demands for the government to immediately publish the names of all those they claimed had lost their lives in the alleged coup to avoid accusation of coverup, as the debate continues over whether last Sunday’s incident was stage-managed by President Bio as a pretext to go after the opposition APC.

There are unconfirmed reports that dozens of known opposition supporters and members of the APC have been killed or arrested by the security forces – all of whom are northerners, as the military and police continue their house to house search for alleged coup plotters.

In another development, the British High Commissioner in Freetown – Lisa Chesney, yesterday held talks with senior government ministers and the leadership of the opposition APC, as part of what has been described as ‘confidence building dialogue’ to salvage the peace accord signed last month by the government and the opposition APC.

Ms, Chesney met President Bio’s chief minister Sengeh at his office, and also visited the APC chairman and leader – Dr Samura Kamara.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Chesney said: “In meetings with Government and Opposition, all agreed that violence to undermine a State is never justified. Now, more than ever, commitments made in the peace dialogue must be implemented, to benefit all of Sierra Leone. The Uk is ready to work with and support the government and all stakeholders in this.”

Trust and confidence between the ruling SLPP and the APC are now at an all-time low, as the government seems determined to pursue its stated goal of crushing the APC, which president Bio says is a terrorist group.

But such dangerous mission can only lead to mutual destruction of both parties, at the expense of the peace and stability of Sierra Leone.


  1. I personally believe that a deeply ingrained grievance , feelings of resentment and sense of inferiority are responsible for the aggressive behavior of some APC members and supporters. President Bio has been called a “killer with blood on his hands” during the 2018 elections campaign, and the APC party went an extra mile to bring former military leader Captain Valentine Strasser, who was leaving as a destitute during the 11 years of APC misrule, on prime time interview on TV to implicate then candidate Retired Brigadier Maada Bio. To the shock of the then APC government, the voters rejected the APC twice through the ballot box in favor of candidate Maada Bio of the SLPP party. Unfortunately, former President Earnest Koroma and his handpicked stooge, candidate Samura Kamara, refused to congratulate President Bio for the sake of maintaining the PEACE AND STABILITY of our nation, and decided to make our country ungovernable.
    The APC decided to outsource their destructive campaign to some of their members and supporters in the diaspora. After the launching of the Corruption Commission of Inquiry, these supporters have been BARKING and causing NOISES in the social media, which has infected some of their gullible supporters and so-called APC warriors with RABIES. Unfortunately, the lifetime leader of the APC has been living rent free inside the empty heads of some of these members and supporters .
    Even the main propagandist in the electronic media who has spent most of his time educating mentally retarded people have left me with no choice but to believe that mental retardation is contagious based on his recent analysis about the failed coup attempt.
    Let’s continue to pray for our Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Konneh, for restoring democracy once again because this failed plan would have been executed during the second round of the election, which the National Election Watch (NEW) and their sponsors were advocating for based on their projections instead of counting the raw votes.

  2. Santhikie Sorie and Dauda Yilla, thank you very much for being men who use your intuition well, unlike the rabid supporters of Maada Bio and the SLPP whose political brains have been screwed by political partisanship and tribalism.

    When a real coup is staged, the signs are not mistaken. I have lived in s country , Liberia, where I saw with my own eyes two successful military coups , many abortive coups and the start of a real rebel invasion. I also have tons of books on the Nigerian, Ghanaian and Ugandan coups. I watch trends and sequences of events.

    Coup – makers do not attack one target and then spread to other targets. Maada Bio’s wife, Fatima , said her husband has a PH.D in coups but if he masterminded this fake coup, Bio is nothing but an idiot in coup- making.

    When real, genuine coups are staged, the plotters split into groups that attack different targets at the same time . They have a special group that attacks the radio station because coup makers need speedy , impactful communications to the public and to discourage loyal forces that there is nothing to fight for again . The Thomas Quiwonkpa coup in Liberia in 1985 which I saw with my own eyes failed the moment Doe’s forces seized back the radio station , ELBC, through the instrumentality of the Israeli secret agents in the country , who also jammed Quiwonkpa’s walkie- talkies and stopped him from communications with and directing his troops. The moment Col. Moses Washington of the Schefflein military guard brigade announced on the radio , which Quiwonkpa’s forces had controlled whole day, that the station was back in government hands and that President Doe would address the nation shortly, that was the end of the coup. Even soldiers who had joined the rebel forces switched back on Doe’s side.

    No serious coup maker would strike without simultaneously trying to seize the radio station.

    In this Bio coup though, planned by morons, no attempt was made to seize the national broadcaster, SLBC. The dumb “coup plotters” rather went and attacked the Wilberforce armory and from there they proceeded to Cockerill and then to Pademba Rosd Prisons to free inmates. SLBC is closer to the Prisons and was unguarded but they did not go there.

    In a real coup, one group attacks the radio station, another raids the international telecommunications centre like SLET; another attacks the airport to stop planes from landing to forestall international intervention ; while another attacks State House or the Executive Mansion to kill or arrest the President and yet another goes around arresting ministers, top military officers and government officials. That was what I saw in Liberia and read in books on the coups in Nigeria, Ghana , Gambia, Uganda and other countries and even those that failed . In 1980, while the mansion was being stormed, the radio station was also being invaded by Doe’s forces.

    Bio always tries to make himself out as a smart man but he is not. Bio is not even a professional soldier in the true sense of the word. It was people like Idriss Kamara, Tom Nyuma, Komba Kambo etc. who really did the work in the two NPRC coups. To show you how dumb Bio is, he devised every criminal trick to beat the APC in the last election but he could not win with all the disadvantages he created for the APC. We know that 2018 was a regime change , spearheaded by the then British High Commisdioner, Guy Warrington, because our APC government made the fatal mistake of flirting too much with the Chinese. Geopolitical rivalries between Britain and China forced Britain to punish the APC in 2018 by helping Infa Allie and others to rig the elections to remove the APC.

    The British government , who have their own people on the ground, must have suspected something about this alleged coup attempt; that is why they have swiftly sent their High Commissioner , Lisa Chesney, to go warn Chief Minister David Sengeh that the dialogue will certainly go on and that every recommendation from it must be implemented ( And that Britain will even help to implement them ). Do you think international stakeholders are fools ?

    Let Bio try another method to abort the dialogue and investigations coming. This one has failed. Even the U. S ambassador would be somewhere snickering at the dumbness of the coup , never mind the diplomatic posturing, which is part of their jobs to be neutral.

  3. The sequence of events as they unfolded on 26th November 2023 narrated by the Bio government can only be persuasive and convincing to those whose brain cannot fill the smallest tin can. They include the secretary general and current chairman of ECOWAS.
    How can a small group of alleged coup makers, made up of civilians and some soldiers, having been repelled from overrunning an arms depot within the confines of Wilberforce Barracks, were quickly able to disperse in different directions and attack different places almost simultaneously? What were the security forces doing when the alleged coup makers moved from Wilberforce Barracks to Cockerill Barracks where they killed some soldiers, including a senior officer? Counting their fingers? From Cockerill the rag -tag force also miraculously surfaced at Pademba Road Prison, shot their way in and freed all the inmates. Their supernatural powers also placed them as far away as Waterloo where they disarmed officers at a police station who quickly fled.
    What we have here is a comedy show whose script was ill written by Bio and his gang of incoherent thinkers that went badly wrong. It’s all in the name of Bio’s undiluted determination to hold on to power by distorting facts, the main one being that the majority of Sierra Leoneans would love to see the back of him.
    Bio knows that he is fighting with his back to the wall, which makes him very dangerous. Not only is he being haunted by the outcome of the 24th June 2023 general elections but by the real possibility that he could be indicted by ICC. To add to his woes Western intelligence agencies must have woken up to his false claims that there was an attempt to overthrow him. Only brain dead so-called ECOWAS leaders can buy into his trickery.

  4. An indefensible act of national self-immolation yet again: of horrendous, appalling and despicable fratricidal bloodletting.

    When, where and how will this enduring political culture of ethno-regional antagonisms and hecatomb cease?

    Can the nation-shattering events of last Sunday have been and not have been a coup in the same breath? The real thing, a cynical simulation of it, or both?
    That is the rub – distinguishing the real from the concocted, truth from falsehood, what is from what seems.

    Mystery, obfuscation and obscurantism are all we have so far, very much in keeping with a political culture and climate where murderous divisions define and regulate the pulse and heartbeat of relations across ethnicities and regions.

    Sierra Leoneans are once again at each other’s throats: Northerners and North-Westerners seem to be at the receiving end of the mayhem. Which situation lays the groundwork for South-Easterners to one day find themselves at the receiving end of cruel and lethal political reprisals.

    We are all losers as in killing our very own bothers, sisters and compatriots, it is our very own humanity that we put to the sword.

    We are a very sick nation politically, needing the most radical of therapies – boundless love for one another, bringing to the fore that core of humanity in which ethnic and regional differences in the realm of politics as in other spheres of our national life should remain and be seen as peripheral, that is, incidental to what makes us Sierra Leoneans.

    My heart bleeds for our motherland.

  5. Kabs-Kanu and cohorts need severe mental evaluation for asserting that the coup attempt was stage managed by Bio Lead SLPP administration Sierra Leone is back into the dark ages ethno-regional political thinking. I’ll love to see Kab-Kanu in Freetown to make his case on national TV, till then, consider him as the APC clown of the decades.

  6. British High Commissioner Lisa Cheney has started talking again after the removal of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. Yet psychotics will continue to deny that Cleverly was the albatross around the neck of British Foreign policy since he visited his motherland in Bo last April ( His mother, Suna Cleverly was a Sierra Leonean South Easterner ).

    Well, Lisa is back and she has raised the prospect that the Bio coup attempt has not derailed the forthcoming tripartite investigations into the rigged 2023 elections after all. Whoever thought that the tripartite investigations and recommendations had been scuppered must have been dreaming.

    My diplomatic source at the UN told me yesterday that, with all respects to the SLPP government’s posturing and conflicting versions of the so- called coup attempt and the investigations going on, the international community have their own team on the ground in Freetown and they will put all their facts together and determine whether it was a genuine coup attempt or a stage-managed one. I know this because I work with the diplomatic community in my new capacity as an international elections observer.

    However, one thing I can say as Senior Adviser of the All People’s Congress ( APC ) is that the party has nothing to do with Sunday’s heavy shooting in Freetown and Maada Bio ‘s devilish attempts to implicate the party is a further demonstration that Sierra Leoneans who are snug in the belief that it was a stage- managed coup to get rid of APC leaders and obliterate the party may have some points.

    APC can never be party to such a risky and dangerous misadventure first of all because we eschew violence and secondly we know that the likelihood of failure or the coup being reversed by the international community was always going to be great. We have seen the hands-on involvement of the international community in the efforts to preserve peace and stability in Sierra Leone . Why would anybody think that they would have accepted the coup?

    What is more, we had the ears and the sympathy of the international community in the wake of the rigged 2023 elections and the blood -stained record of this Maada Bio government. We would not risk bungling the goodwill we enjoy from the international community by being parties to any unlawful seizure of power in Sierra Leone.

    To me personally, if it turns out that this was a genuine coup attempt, those who planned and executed it must be given accolades in stupidity . How would anybody believe that, without the possibility of international assistance and a steady supply of arms and ammunition from abroad, they would have succeeded in staging and sustaining a coup in Sierra Leone when Bio controls the army after stacking it top and bottom with his tribesmen , and when he would certainly receive military support from neighboring Liberia and ECOWAS, and even the United States ? The dynamics in Sierra Leone are different from what obtains in the West African countries where successful coups were staged.
    The cache of ammunition stolen from the Wilberforce armory would not have been enough to sustain the coup. The whole exercise is adventuristic to me, if indeed it was a real coup attempt.

    Thank God that the dialogue and tripartite investigations would continue, after all . At least, we can start breathing hopes again that Maada Bio will be unmasked spectacularly and structures would be put in place to forestall another bold faced elections robbery by the SLPP.

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