Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 October 2020:
Sierra Leone’s Inspector General of Police – Ambrose Sovula is tonight being accused by supporters of the former president Ernest Bai Koroma of surreptitiously recording a conversation he had last Thursday with former president Koroma, and then today leaked the audio recording on social media.
The conversation between IG Sovula and Ernest Bai Koroma was about the prevention of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigators by large crowd of angry youths, who had gathered and formed a human shield outside the home of the former president, from getting into the property of the former president to conduct their interviews.
During the conversation which you can listen below, both the IG and the former president conducted themselves very well, as each tried to explain how best to ensure the ACC investigators can gain access to the former president for the interview.
But the question tonight is not about the content of the conversation but who recorded and leaked the conversation to the public.
One can only guess that the side or party that has the most to gain from the leak did it. Now! Who could that be? THE POLICE OR ERNEST BAI KOROMA?
Judging From the conversation and what it reveals, its difficult to understand or see any logic in the former president or his team wanting to leak that recording. There are things said in that conversation that for legal reasons the former president and his team would have preferred to remain confidential between the IG and the former president.
So, who stands more to lose from the leaking? Listen to the recording below and you be the judge:
These are the other leaked recordings of conversation between the IG and Koroma’s senior Lawyer – Joseph Kamara:
This evening, president Bio’s spokesman – Yusuf Keketoma Sandi has been quick to post a comment on social media about the leak, prompting suspicion as to whether State House was involved in the leaking of the conversation. This is what he said:
The Office of Ernest Bai Koroma has also issued a full statement condemning the leak. This is what they said:
“Leaking Out Private Conversation Breaches Protocol And Undermines Trust
“Makeni – 11th October – The Office Of H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President Of Sierra Leone, has learned with shock and disbelief about the leaking out of a telephone conversation former President Koroma had with the Inspector General Of Police (IGP), Ambrose Sovula. Our information is that the said leaked telephone conversation relates to the discussion around last week’s proposed Anti – Corruption Commission (ACC) interview with the former President.
“Though former President Koroma was obvious in that leaked telephone conversation with the IGP, about his respect for the law and his willingness for the ACC to carry on with the proposed interview as scheduled, he considers the leaking out of his telephone conversation with the IGP as a deliberate breach of protocol and cowardly betrayal of trust.
“We hereby underscore that former President Koroma agreed to speak with the IGP on the above subject out of his maximum trust in the privacy of such a telephone conversation. It is our high estimation that if for whatever reasons, anyone wishes to make public a private telephone with no less a security official than the IGP, they would do the right and decent thing of seeking and obtaining the consent of the former president.
“”This is, without doubt, a new low in what is an orchestrated campaign of calumny against me. But I remain unruffled, ever determined to follow due process and to fully cooperate with ACC at all times””, the former president emphasised.
“We believe that if the leaking out of that telephone conversation is intended to undermine former President Koroma’s standing in the eyes of the public, this effort has clearly boomeranged..
“Former President Koroma, therefore, requests an impartial, speedy and conclusive investigation into the source of the leak of that private conversation.”
Any clearer as to who recorded and leaked the conversation between the Inspector General of Police and the former president?
What is evidently clear though is the serious breach of trust and national security that has been committed by whosoever is responsible for leaking that conversation. But the problem is, who to trust to conduct an independent investigation into this matter, and ensure that those found responsible are held to account to prevent a repeat.