Police IG accused of leaking audio recording of conversation with former President Koroma

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.

11 Comments

  1. Listening to the audios, it is possible that neither the Inspector- General nor the former president of Sierra Leone is to blame for the leak. During the conversation, there were other voices in the background. So someone else who was present, could have recorded the conversation and leaked it unto social media without their knowledge. Whatever happened, we pray that everything is sorted out soon and amicably.

  2. IG Sovula will be the biggest loser with backlash from this leaked audio in my view. I normally praise the IG for his stance in conducting his officers and himself when it comes to rioting and state security. But telling citizens who are rightfully exercising their constitutional rights that you will thrash them, is an unacceptable use of words professionally, Mr IG. Also, a leaked audio conversation between the former President and yourself is ridiculous and damming to your integrity sir. Your force should be seen as the custodian of our nation’s internal security and not seen as keeper of the Bio SLPP kakistocracy. You seem to be engaging with the former President Ernest Bai Koroma very well in the beginning of the interview, but you blew everything up when you started using inappropriate professional words.

    My question to you Mr IG is this – is this the beginning of the betrayal of your trust in many Sierra Leoneans including myself? No good. Former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma frankly speaking, is the winner in that conversation. I’m not surprised because, he is a very good debater and has vast experience in engaging publicly with people than IG Sovula.
    IG Sovula at some point of the interview seem to be frustrated and aggressive, which makes him awkward in the eyes of many. Are we now in a country where classified information are being leaked?

    This is the lowest so far in the Bio SLPP kakistocracy. The IG has to do something about this to save his reputation. He knew those around him during that conversation. Was he in State House during the conversation with the President and other members of the Bio SLPP kakistocracy? Finally, Mr IG, the ball with regards to this leak squarely lies on your head. Open an investigation into this matter immediately. The earlier the better. Also tell, prove or show Sierra Leoneans, the world and myself that you are innocent, reliable and trustworthy. Thank you IG Sovula for taking my advice. God help IG Sovula.

  3. It is highly likely that there is a third party in this leaking saga. From the telephone conversations, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ambrose Sovula, seems sincere and professional. There is also some form of acquaintance or familiarity between IGP Sovola and former President Earnest Bai Koroma. On the part of the former President, it is obvious that he has nothing to gain from the leaking of such conversations. In fact, he wouldn’t like to see the world to hear that he is being investigated for corruption. Anyone wearing his shoes today, would be inclined to think that way. So, who is the third party? Who has access to IGP Sovula’s activities with a keen interest to discredit the former President internationally? The truth will be hard to come by …

  4. In this case, we should not jump into conclusions about who leaked this conversation. In so far, it seems to me that the whole scenario was handled unprofessionally from the start. Let us face it; if this conversation was meant to be a private conversation, then there was no need for both parties (team Koroma and the police) to be on speakers. It is unfortunate that what was meant to be a private conversation has become a public discourse. On the other hand, we must take solace because what was discussed is not actually sensitive. Having listened to the recording, it is clear that the former President in his own words ‘respect the law’. If this is the case, then he must respect the law in its entirety.

    Thus, if he is invited to answer questions, then he should be ready to answer those questions at any time and any place. This idea that the questioning should take place in his residence is counterproductive. In the end, I hope the State will now come up with a workable plan that will lay this scenario to rest.

  5. This is the light blub moment for all Sierra Leoneans to see what this corruption drive is all about. And by the way, if you harbour any doubt that this case against the former president Ernest Bai Koroma, was not only a witch hunt but a politically motivated action, dreamt up, cooked up, and dressed up like an anti corruption crusade fight, while the reality of the leaking of this recording clearly shows that this is the dirty workings of Bio and members of his tribalistic cabinet seeking blood, instead of a them working to maintain peace and stability in our fragile country. You can see Bio’s finger prints all over the place massaging the message, instead of being straight with the people. You don’t need illumination to know where this case is heading.

    It won’t surprise me if Bio and his henchmen were crowding over the phone in State House and listening to this private call between the former president who conducted himself with grace and the most inept AG in the history of our country, our own very Ambrose Sovula. In any other work place you will be out of job with your ear. You don’t know your job. You should hang your head in shame. Just close your eyes and imagine Hon, Bambay kamara the late IG, engaged in this charade and abuse of state power for public consumption. At one point he said your people. So in other words the people of Makeni are not Bio’s people. I thought he said he is president for all Sierra Leoneans. Goodness me what a misplaced thought on my side.

    This is the worst public relations disaster in the history of the Sierra Leone people’s police – SLPP. The former president at one point telling the inspector general of police how to conduct his job. what a brazier turn of events. I mean you can make this stuff up. I mean where do you get these PEOPLE from? More like straight out of central casting. He might have served for God knows how many years in the police, thirty or forty years later, he is still learning the ropes. With these people at the helm, may God grant us peace and stability in Sierra Leone. God bless Sierra Leone.

  6. Since the present Government came to power, there has been 2 or 3 Instances that classified Information were leaked. We are aware of this weakness and hope that they will do something for this to stop. However, only after having listened to the conversation, that one can understand the Origin of the famous Statement of Sidi Yahya Tunis which states “we even offered the ACC to join us so that we can drive them safely to the Residence…”

  7. Hmmm, Sierra Leone top officials never cease to embarrass the citizens of our beloved nation. We appear to be sinking lower and lower; instigating detrimental events one after another. Just a few days that I have been unable to follow up, the circle of bad news emanating from our nation are unending. The sad thing is that, most of these bad news are making the rounds across the globe, affecting our nation’s democratic standing and the security aspect of it all. When the dust settles down, those at the receiving end for all these unending chaotic events are the poor citizens of Sierra Leone.

    I arrived at the Lungi airport a few days ago and decided to spend the night there at a family house rather than cross over to Freetown. It was surprising to discover that the entire Lungi environment was in complete blackout, no electricity, other than personal generators. Upon enquiry from my uncle, it was interesting to learn that power supply is rarely experienced by the inhabitants of the airport environment despite the authorities having forcedly retracted the standby generator in Makeni, purportedly for the Lungi airport.

    I have yet to make it to the central business district since my arrival, been busy with personal business ventures, but from the many privilege conversations among the locals, majority of the citizens are disgruntled and disappointed about the manner and way this country is being governed.

    • Telling meee? Majority of the citizens are not only disgruntled about the manner and way the country is being governed, but eager for 2023 to come, so that they will kick the Bio SLPP kakistocracy’s butts out of power. Will you tell us something about the excellent mess of the ACC that nearly led to chaos and anarchy in Makeni and the rest of the country in your next post Young4na? A friend of mine told me that the ACC boss has become the laughing stock of the moment. He went on to say, what will happen if the ACC invites anyone and that person refuses? Will IG Sovula call the person and later the audio of their conversation leaked to the public?

      Tell me more about that leaked audio between former President Ernest Bai Koroma and IG Sovula. You can clearly hear Dr Ernest Bai Koroma outperforming the IG and that the former President was controlling the conversation leaving IG Sovula frustrated, sort of angry and out of temper. Did anyone whisper to you saying that the ACC boss is now one of the most corrupt government officials? Welcome back Young4na and may God bless you.

  8. Sierra Leone and Sierra Leonean Politicians and Security Apparatus have to be very very careful as there are two serious international problems that the country – Sierra Leone is fighting with, that is – US Visa suspension and international Money Laundering that went on between 2007 to 2018.

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