Sierra Leone Telegraph: 05 November 2021:
The central business district of Freetown is much quieter this morning after heightened tension yesterday, when supporters of the main opposition APC party took to the streets in support of their 2018 presidential candidate – Dr Samura Mathew Kamara who yesterday was invited to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to answer allegations of involvement in the theft of millions of dollars earmarked for the renovation of the Sierra Leone consular building in New York.
Supporters of Samura Kamara are accusing the ACC of witch-hunt. According to reports, ministers, and officials in the current SLPP government have not been held accountable for the missing funds which supporters of Samura say disappeared under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
Accusations of partisanship and cherry-picking against the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala is growing amid calls for his sacking. His critics say that he has been compromised by his close relationship with the president and his membership of the ruling SLPP party.
With hundreds of armed police on the streets of Freetown yesterday, supporters of Samura were defiant as they formed a ring around the vehicle escorting Samura to the ACC office, where they stayed until the end of his interrogation and was then released.
Samura says he is innocent, and that the reason for what he refers to as harassment by the ACC is because the ruling SLPP and president Bio want to take him out of the presidential race slated for 2023.
“Dr. Samura Kamara is as innocent as a dove. In a bid to taint and smear the hard-won reputation of one of Sierra Leone’s finest, credible, sincere, honest and diligent Statemen by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Dr. Samura Kamara who’s committed in promoting Peace , Democracy and the Rule of Law has again availabled himself at the ACC to continue to show and manifest to the world that he’s as innocent as a dove, and his commitment in fighting against corruption remains unhindered.
“After series of questioning by the ACC, Dr. Samura Kamara’s innocence has clearly manifested today, and thus, he has been released. The desperate attempt by Ben Kaifala and cohorts to assassinate the good reputation of Dr. Samura will never and ever come to pass. This is a democracy. Bring the others to book if you’re really serious in fighting corruption,” Samura Kamara communications team said yesterday.
This is the statement published by the police yesterday:
“Police Headquarters notes with dismay the habit of politicians to galvanise vulnerable supporters especially youths to demonstrate or protest on their behalf whenever they are required to appear before legally constituted investigating bodies like Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the Police or the courts. The Sierra Leone Police wishes it to be known that such assemblies or protests are unlawful and thus infringe on the rights of other peaceful citizens.
“The SLP wishes to reiterate that Sierra Leone is a country of laws and that it stands ready to execute such laws without fear or favour. Henceforth, the general public is hereby warned that such assemblies or protests are banned and anyone caught partaking in them will be arrested and prosecuted. You have been warned.”