Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 December 2016
Families and communities across Sierra Leone will today – Christmas Day, be mourning the deaths of Barrister Imran Rahman and the country’s former head of the military Lieutenant-General Samuel Omar Williams, after both were gruesomely killed by armed attackers in their homes.
Speaking yesterday to the distraught son of Barrister Rahman – Mr. Nazmi Rahman, who lives in London, one gets a true sense of what it really means to lose a father – a loved one, in such horrific and despicable circumstances.
Lieutenant General S.O. Williams, Barrister Rahman and a countless number of children and hard working citizens murdered in cold blood by criminals, are the innocent victims of a society that is heading closer once again to self-destruction, simply because those upon whom the affairs of state have been entrusted, are far too busy feathering their own nests, rather than promoting the interests of society in general.
Freetown – the capital city of Sierra Leone has become the dumping ground and mafia territory for thousands of homeless, jobless and drugged-up youths, who have become hardcore professional criminals.
The government is now faced with a youth and crime crisis of its own making. And how it responds to the rising wave of brutal murders in the capital remains to be seen.
But one thing is clear. The increasing armed attack on the hard working people of Sierra Leone by those elements in society who believe that their only means of livelihood and survival is to steal from others and kill them in the process, cannot be sustainable nor will it contribute towards the hard task of rebuilding peace and harmony in Sierra Leone.
Society cannot be at peace with itself, as long as those it refers to as rejects are left to operate and survive on the margins of existence.
But Sierra Leone has a much bigger problem in combating crime. With a highly politicised police force that is headed by senior officers whose work ethics makes them unfit to be in the force; and whose priority is about their own daily survival, then fighting crime and protecting the lives of citizens in their homes is not an objective.
When president Koroma took office in 2007, one of his mantras back then which he has quietly dropped was ‘zero tolerance for corruption’. How can one expect turkey to vote for Christmas? But has Koroma ever announced a zero tolerance for crime – especially murder?
Sixty-percent of the population of Sierra Leone are under the age of 35. If the majority of young people turn their backs on morality, law and order, and those core values of society – such as education, hard work in return for a just and fair day’s pay or reward, the sanctity of life, and respect for the property of others and the community, because they cannot see the point of upholding those values, then Sierra Leone will most certainly become a failed state once again.
Yesterday, as the family of Barrister Rahman received outpouring of condolences from friends and professional associates, the country’s Bar Association (SLBA) issued this statement, which clarifies some of the rumours that have been published by sections of the media about the circumstances of the death of Barrister Rahman, and the latest development as regards the police investigations.
This is what SLBA said in its statement:
“The Sierra Leone Bar Association regrets to announce the death of Imran Rahman Esq formerly of Preston Chambers & former Magistrate residing at Marjay Town, Freetown.
“Upon paying a visit to the family, Executive members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association present at the scene of the incident were duly informed that he was allegedly attacked and brutally murdered by strangulation in the evening hours of Friday 23rd December 2016, by intruders posing as potential clients at his Marjay Town residence.
“The family further explained that the survivor of the attack – a 7 year old boy, is assisting the police in their investigations and that 2 of 3 alleged suspects are currently in police custody.
“The Sierra Leone Bar Association strongly condemns the brutal murder of one of its very senior members and urges the police and authorities concerned to speedily investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The Executive of the Sierra Leone Bar Association has extended heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased senior on behalf of its entire membership.
“May his soul rest in perfect peace?”
Dated: 24th December, 2016
Ashmia Fofanah – Assistant Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.