Sierra Leone police arrest suspects in the ACC corruption investigation standoff in Makeni

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 October 2020:

Sierra Leone police have arrested a group of people they believe are behind the organised human shield that was mobilised outside the home of former president Ernest Bai Koroma that prevented Anti-Corruption investigators from attending a scheduled meeting with the former president at his home in Makeni, last Thursday, 8th October 2020.

The large crowd of youths believed to be supporters of the former president, put up roadblocks and chased police officers away from the area. The  head of the ACC – Francis Ben Kaifala said his team had to call off their meeting because they were prevented from getting to the residence of the former president.

Ernest Bai Koroma is alleged to have misappropriated public funds, estimated at tens of millions of dollars during his time in office – 2007 to 2018, according to Commission of Inquiry Report.

The names of those arrested included the Section Chief of Bai Sheborah Chiefdom – Pa Mission Conteh.

But the police are yet to make a statement about the leaked audio recordings of conversation between the Inspector General of Police and the former President regarding this incident.   

This is what the police said:

11 Comments

  1. Olu Davis says—“ The Commission of Inquiry is never a witch hunt, after all the two main judges that presided over the inquiry were from Ghana and Nigeria.”

    Hey Mr. Davis, can you elaborate in this glorious intellectual platform exactly who was in charge of compiling the list of those who were to be investigated? Was it the foreign judges, whose sole purpose was to follow strictly the directives given to them by the regime, or the POAPA extremists that pick and choose certain citizens whom they apparently have scores to settle with? We will appreciate it if you can indeed prove to the world that this COI was never a witch hunt, other than the lame excuse of the judges being foreigners.

  2. The show of shame perpetrated by Makeni residents should not be condoned and encouraged at all in this current dispensation. What they have just shown to the whole world is like they are glorifying corruption. The ACC went to Makeni to interrogate an ex president who cannot explain how he came about building a structure of 40 billion Leones worth and all his entire emolument and salary for the 11 years rule was calculated as 4.10 billion Leones and several other properties.

    If it were in China, you of course no the consequences. The Commission of Inquiry is never a witch hunt, after all the two main judges that presided over the inquiry were from Ghana and Nigeria.

  3. The Man in State House is the ultimate Boogie Man – he’s always behind the scenes creating mischief – now you see him now you don’t! Children and adults alike have woke up screaming in fear seeing him in their dreams with an angry face, a clenched fist and a bandolier loaded with bullets slung-sash style over his shoulders. In reality he is always ready to pounce on the weak, fragile and innocent, at night he chases, and hunts down his victims in their dreams like werewolves under the full moon desperately in need of something or someone to kill.

    Welcome to Sierra Leone, my only home, where authoritarian rule has been brazenly tightening its iron grips – the gruesome monster in your dreams that you feared the most has somehow managed to manifest itself into reality, and it is now knocking defiantly on your door. RUN! And you seriously believe that by harassing and arresting a few people who are totally against your villainous nefarious tribalistic form of governance, you can stifle and choke freedom of expression in all its admirable forms huh?

    I mean seriously, quit wasting our time, you belong in-the dusty ram-shackled barracks where your chores are easy and less complicated – shining shoes until they look like mirrors. (lol) YOU, yes You old soldier without a mission, have no idea what it means to bring people amicably together – ANARCHIST go away – Shame on YOU.(lol)

  4. Yeah. You don’t thrash people or offenders, you arrest them, OK? A word for a wise is quite sufficient. By the way, are those arrested APC party members or SLPP party members, bamboozled to say, that they are APC members and that the APC party organised that spontaneous shielding of the APC Leader? Remember what happened with the gallant Rtd Major Paolo Conteh’s case? We shall see. God bless our justice system and the police.

  5. How dare YOU – SLPP Pretenders – to assume that Sierra Leone’s current politicking is within the parameters of a democratic dispensation – especially when the right to peaceful protest is non-existent. The people who gathered around the perimeter of the former President Earnest Bai Koroma’s residence are misconstrued as forming a ‘human shield’ preventing a tribalistic agency called ACC, from interviewing the former President for an overtly inflated allegation of corruption in his previous administration.

    If the right to peaceful protest was in existence, the ACC would have just bypassed the protesters peacefully and entered into the former President’s compound to interview him. But the ACC saw the protesters as a potential threat since they don’t have the freedom to express their right to peaceful protest, as in a democratic setting. At the end the ACC ran away from a purported HUMAN SHIELD. Was the ACC intending to arrest or kill the former President, as witnessed in war zones? Are the SLPP Pretenders already proclaiming a tribal or regional war in Sierra Leone?

    • My brother from another Mother, the “illustrious Alimamy Turay” You asked the question so let me answer it – The ACC was not there to conduct any interview at all, but the massive turnout by the people of Makeni foiled their shadowy plans. True. Listen, they were purposefully there to Arrest the former President; Now reliable sources have told me emphatically that there was a helicopter hidden in the forests not too far away – their main objective was to kidnap the former President of Sierra Leone – Imagine that! Take a deep breath and let that sink in for a minute or two! These Criminals dressed in green think they are above law, above right and wrong…By any means necessary, I am told they chanted in one of their secret preternatural tribal gatherings – PAOPA… EBK must go to jail!

  6. I personally believe that this will send a clear message to the Chiefs that Secret Societies is a culture for our citizens and cannot be used as political pawns. All citizens regardless of party are free to practice their culture which is unique and should be respected. Even Paramount Chiefs which is a royalty supposed to be neutral and supposed to be working with the government in power to create peace and stability. The Royal family of Great Britain always support the Prime Minister of either party that is in power. There was no reason to arrest the youths because they were protesting peacefully by singing as compared to the generator protest which resulted in violent rioting and damages.

    The secret society members were in front of the gate of the lifetime leader’s residence and they prevented the ACC from entering the compound, which was illegal based on the fact that they have been banned during the coronavirus pandemic. I hope the lifetime leader will also put his life on the line for them. Hopefully, lawlessness will be curtailed in Makeni without any further loss of lives , because it has and will always be part of Sierra Leone.

  7. The use of the term – human shield, a term usually associated with the war zones of Iraqi and the Syrian civil war, in an alleged fraud investigation in the town of Makeni, which is usually carried out by men dressed in suits, rather than men wearing military fatigue, in combat gear, fighting to dislodge an enemy in the most unlikely urban setting, is not only inflammatory but dangerous given, the context of the situation our country find ourselves. For the interest of peace and stability in our country, its about time the politicians, the police, the government mouth piece, press and both supporters of the two main political parties, APC and SLPP dial back the use of that sort of language in our country.

    It is the responsibility of every one in Sierra Leone, and abroad that we do all in our power to maintain peace and stability in our country . Because without it, this much taunted corruption investigation will not be made possible. Remember when the RUF and renegade members of the Republic Sierra Leone Armed forces invaded Freetown in the late 90s, in what they dubbed operation no living thing, no one back then was talking about investigation of any kind. The people of Freetown that went through that orgy of violence unleashed on them, were just happy to see the back of those young men and women that disturbed their peace in the name of fighting corruption.

    The use of Language matters. So we have to mind our language, because what president Bio has managed to achieve in his two years in office is to sow the seeds of discord in our country. He is good at inflaming passion and rallying his troops when it suits his agenda. He must have been a drill sergeant in his time in the army. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  8. To state one of the cliches, ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result’. Since the Bio regime came into power, how many times have we heard of politically influenced arrest of citizens while hundreds have died from live bullets shooting by state security forces? If the killing and intimidation is indeed working, shouldn’t we have observe that by now after nearly 2 years of the same dogmatic tyrannical policies? I just don’t get it. I think the regime might as well build more prison cells as opposed to schools and other needed infrastructures.

  9. Let the rule of law prevail. Lawlessness cannot be condoned by any peace loving Sierra Leonean, including Pa Ernest himself.

  10. Here, it’s smelling like scapegoating; a section chief has been arrested in Makeni city by the police, for allegedly organizing a “human shield” for the former president, preventing the work of the ACC officials sent to interview him.
    It smells like a conspiracy, so to speak. Why the arrest of only the organizers and not all the attendees and crowds of people that shielded the former president in the streets of Makeni? Every person who was there that day consented to be there and should be arrested for justice sake. why leave out the MPs and all the APC stalwarts and politicians who were there in the vicinity of their leader and provided a presence that was inviting to their supporters? How, in fact, did the police came to know that all the protesters who had lined up the streets of Makeni were not from somewhere else?

    It’s ridiculous but, not a surprising travesty. It was in Makeni, in recent memory that the Generator Machine protests happened, police heavy handedness and brutality slain the lives of several youths, only for the government to take the ridiculously strange route of dispatching a fact finding team there, to investigate the incident, wilfully leaving out and woefully failing to call on the police and military to roll heads in their camps and weed out the shooters. What in the world was the wisdom of the Commander In-Chief, in not involving the IGP and the military force commander in the investigations of police and military conduct against public order and discipline, who would have quickly fall in their men and women in uniforms and trapped the subversive officers, beats the imagination.

    The arrest of an ordinary section chief, a poor man standing to be blamed for gathering or compelling people to gather in huge crowds against their will to shield the former president is in line and laughable at best.

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