Sierra Leone police say Evangelist Samson was killed in crossfire between armed police and ex-combatants

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 August 2022:

Sierra Leone’s Inspector General of Police – William Fayia Sellu, last night confirmed the death of APC social media strongman – Evangelist Samson (Photo above), whose  real name was corrected in a statement believed to have come from the police, as Hassan S. Dumbuya.

According to the statement, “…when Security forces acting on intelligence on the 14 of August 2022 stormed a place where ex-combatants had assembled & poised to make further attacks, they took to their heels. While they were being pursued by the security forces, another group from a makeshift structure at Station Road in Makeni opened fire on them. During the crossfire, one Hassan S. Dumbuya aka Evangelist Samson was killed, and four others were arrested.”

The main opposition APC of which Evangelist was a vocal, un-official social media spokesman, continue to remain quiet about the killing of Evangelist Samson.

But speaking to the BBC World Service last week, Interim Chairman of the APC – Peter Conteh accepted that some elements within the APC were involved in the Bloody Wednesday demonstration, where dozens of people were killed, including police officers.

This is the full statement published by the police yesterday:

“The Sierra Leone Police wishes to inform the general public that following the insurrection by misguided individuals on the 10th of August 2022 resulting in destruction of properties and loss of lives in the affected areas, the security forces have been conducting raids in hideouts for perpetrators of the said insurrection.

“Targeted areas in Freetown were successfully raided and suspects arrested were handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters at Pademba Road in Freetown for thorough investigations.

“In order to prevent any other insurrection, similar raids were extended to towns and cities in the provinces including Makeni, Magburaka and Kamakwie.

“Acting on intelligence, the security forces were successful in their raids of several hideouts in Makeni where suspects arrested were handed over to the Police for investigations. However, when Security forces acting on intelligence on the 14 of August 2022 stormed a place where ex-combatants had assembled & poised to make further attacks, they took to their heels. While they were being pursued by the security forces, another group from a makeshift structure at Station Road in Makeni opened fire on them.

“During the crossfire, one Hassan S. Dumbuya aka Evangelist Samson was killed and four others were arrested. Those arrested are now helping the Police with investigation. One (1) light sub machine gun 9x26mm was found at the scene of the incident (Makeshift structure).

“The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) is hereby ordering all those declared wanted to surrender to the nearest Police Station or Post. The SLP is also appealing to the general public to give the Police any useful information that can lead to the arrest of those perpetrators who are now at large.

“While the security forces will continue to pursue the perpetrators of the insurrection for them to be investigated and prosecuted in court the general public is assured of their safety and security.

“Signed: William Fayia Sellu, Inspector General of Police.”

Yesterday, the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI ) in Sierra Leone, expressed deep concern over the loss of lives in the country as a result of what ought to have been a legitimate, peaceful street protest; and asked – “Was the use of lethal force by the police justified?”

This is what its Executive Director – Abdul Fatoma said in a CHRDI statement sent to the Sierra Leone Telegraph:

The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI ) would like to voice its concern and displeasure over the recent spate of violent encounters between the police and some citizens in several parts of the country and the capital Freetown.

A number of people and numerous police officers are thought to have been hurt  during the mass demonstration, according to readily available accounts. May the souls of the deceased police officers and civilians rest in peace. CHRDI is deeply concerned about these deaths, which could and should have been avoided.

We want to remind the security services that everyone in Sierra Leone has the right to assemble under the country’s constitution and other international human rights legislation. Therefore, any illegal action by the security actors thereupon is neither acceptable nor justifiable in a democratic society.

A very concerning development for the nation’s cohesion and peace is the ease with which security personnel in Sierra Leone utilised live ammunition to disperse demonstrators in the streets of the capital city and other areas of the country.

Was the use of lethal force by the police justified? This is a poignant question that needs to be asked even as the nation deals with the fallout from this despicable incident.

We do, however, recognise that the police must use force when required to uphold the law. Such a mandate carries responsibility.

In light of the abovementioned issues, CHRDI believes it is appropriate to make the following observations: the security personnel must adopt a good community relationship and cease to use force in response to the slightest provocation; communities across the nation should try to avoid growing tensions in potential conflict-affected areas.

The concepts of democratic policing and justifiable force must serve as the norm for all law enforcement personnel. A police officer may only use lethal force after all other non-lethal options have failed or shown no possibility of producing the desired results.

Whilst once more decrying all intentional assaults on public and private facilities and the wrongful killing of civilians and security personnel, CHRDI requests that the Sierra Leone government launch an impartial investigation to identify and prosecute individuals who may be responsible for these atrocities.

The police should make sure that everyone is allowed to exercise their freedom to protest and should defend the demonstrators from harm.

Any security-related activity must be based on upholding human rights and working to put an end to impunity.

Campaign for Human Rights and Development International also urges the government of Sierra Leone to launch an immediate investigation into the lawlessness of individuals and security personnel.

As a group that advocates for human rights, we will transform this collective rage into effective policy responses that will not only make life safer for citizens but also restore trust in the police and give hope to the families and communities that have been left in despair as a result of this violent acts.

When the law is respected, and everyone in every community is treated with respect by the law, everyone in every community benefits.

We also want to call attention to the duty-bearers who must defend human rights and work to aid those trying to exercise their rights. We implore all Sierra Leoneans to maintain peace and tranquilly.

Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) is a rights-based social policy advocacy organisation. We draw attention to the responsibilities of duty-bearers to uphold human rights and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to several UN Agencies. (END).

13 Comments

  1. Wow, I am shocked by the amount of Sierra Leonean historians floating around the world since the last general presidential elections. Reading comments on this online news outlet makes me to wonder, where were these guys all this time to educate the uneducated ones about Sierra Leone of yesteryears, when peace was the order of the day regardless the hardship in the country. But most of these comments are related to bloodshed, killings, disturbances, riots, right to be lawless, finger pointing etc.

    My fellow historians, I would suggest you please include in your comments of how to bring about peace and tranquility in Sierra Leone instead of casting blames. Also focus on our lawless youths by educating them of how to be a good and abiding citizen and reminding them of 10/08/22 mayhem that they and their sponsors brought on Sierra Leone and that their behaviours and actions are unacceptable and can not be tolerated in our society.

    And finally, if these writers of comments can be honest within themselves after reading an article and noticed that there are barely no truth or facts,to please point them out. This is the only way forward to make Sierra Leone a peaceful nation once again. Some of the writers of articles have incited motives with hardly any truth in what they write about. But “OH YA”, most of these commentators are hell bent to not figuring the truth from these articles. May God Bless Sierra Leone.

  2. Sierra Leoneans, is this the democracy you voted for? Where is the country’s political pluralism? Do Sierra Leoneans really need a bogus kangaroo police permit to demonstrate, as per the country’s 1991 constitution. Is Bio and his henchmen not naïve, by thinking he and his tribesmen can win an all out civil war against 16 tribes in the north? Yes indeed, I basically now know that Bio and his team of bogus henchmen are foolish.

    I see Sierra Leone with this current trajectory heading into an all out nasty civil war, which I think, may likely be worse than Rwanda, if care is not taken, if urgent measures are not taken by the international community. The killing of evangelist Samson, a dynamic and vibrant social media young man including all others APC followers is provocative in nature, and is political baptism of fire and dynamite in the making or cooking. Probable Implosion gathering pace.

    Is Bio and his bunch of bogus henchmen thinking that people of the northern origin are afraid of him and his bunch of coward assassins. Is he not mistaken. Is the killing of evangelist Samson justifiable? Sierra Leonean life is sacred. And the sanctity of life should be protected and preserved at all times. So who gave Bio and his bunch of lawless assassins that power to kill evangelist Samson. Does Bio have the right to take the life of another human being?

    The killing of evangelist Samson is a bad precedent for all social media bloggers in Sierra Leone. What about if APC operatives go on the offensive, by also retaliating against all SLPP bloggers, media houses, including all compromised journalists, etc. My once beautiful country called Sierra Leone is now at a crossroad. SLPP lies, wickedness, hate, bigotry, rampant innocent killings, thefts, plunder of the central bank, have now reached its intended limit.

  3. While i hate to see fellow forumites getting ban from participating in this glorious intellectual platform, one has to consider the dangers and inflammation utterances that some of our diehard PAOPAs are peddling here. For crying out loud, our nation is in hot waters, with the entire world laser focus on us at the moment. If you claim to love Sierra Leone, why inflame tension at this crucial and trying times for our nation. Forget the stupid political parties. What exactly has any of the the leadership, APC or SLPP has done to move the country forward other than personal enrichment? It makes me sick to my stomach when these ignoramuses mortgage our nation’s future for personal selfish reasons.

    We have only one nation that we call home, and some us despite residing in the diaspora, our love and attachment to our country has persuaded us to invest there. All these past few days, i wake up every morning with a heavy heart, concern about the only country i love so dearly future. Yes, all patriotic citizens will scorn against suggestion of violence directed at any citizen, whether security personnel or civilians, they are all Sierra Leoneans.

    The idea of a coup attempt or opposition staging a coup is laughable by all stretch of imagination. All across the world, there is never been a successful coup without the security personnel involvement. So if a coup was indeed plan, how exactly was it going to be accomplish if the military and police force were not involve? Makes no sense. Pointing fingers at opposition leaders without any substantiated evidence is design to foment more tensions and security disturbances in the nation. It’s sickening, and needs to stop. Your infatuation with extremists ideas and hate mongering among fellow citizens have not yield any positive outcomes for our nation. Enough already!!

  4. SLP press releases on President Bio’s watch are just what they are: politicised press releases. They are a take on police actions/activities by and for a police force that is completely wedded to the idea of serving solely the interests of the political powers that be, at the expense of those of ordinary citizens. The press releases reflect and articulate the points of view of the police and their political masters and provide what to them must be cast-iron defence and justification – ethical, moral and legal – of what they do and, in this specific case, have done.

    The ‘facts’ stated in this particular press release are undoubtedly tailored to serve the purpose of police self-justification in the face of possible accusations of heavy-handed, not to say, murderous policing. The press release thus comes across as being an embodiment of the police marketing their own truth as being the truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth regarding why and how they sent Mr Hassan Dumbuya, alias Evangelist Samson, to an early grave.

    You do not have to be a student of language and literature to see the well-crafted piece of misinformation and political propaganda that the press release truly is. It is crammed to the brim with words and phrases that stand out for their opaqueness, abstractness, meaninglessness. Indeed, what exactly do ‘ex-combatants’, ‘make-shift structure’, ‘poised to make further attacks’, ‘misguided individuals’, ‘acting on intelligence’ , ‘insurrection’ and so on mean if not a calculated attempt to reframe and justify actions taken by the police in an incident in which they possibly culpably served as judge and jury in summarily executing a vocal opponent of the Paopa regime? The SLP press release assaults readers’ intelligence with its vagueness and obfuscatory thrust. It is simply an echo of the police’s very vengeful political masters’ voice. And thankfully, many readers are intelligent enough not to take it at face value.

  5. Mr. Thomas, while I am not in any way begging for Mr. Samura, as a first time offender, and a long time participant, I would plea that you in future reconsider his case.
    I tried to find the article he was trying to quote this noble paper from and I don’t know if he misquoting the 15 August 2022 article with title and excerpt:

    “Opposition APC media strongman assasinated as fears grow over return of extra-judicial killings in Sierra Leone”

    “Evangelist Samson who is a member and strong supporter of the APC, is alleged to have been involved in the planning and organising of the Bloody Wednesday protest which led to the killing of six police officers and at least sixteen civilians.”

    Whatever he was thinking, please use your discretion to determine when you can unbanned him or not..

  6. This is another get out of jail card been played by the Sierra Leone police . The continued killing of young men by this out of touch Bio government goes unabaited. Whatever the intelligence said about this young man , it clearly lack the credibility that has been parotted by the government and Sierra Leone police. No one in their right mind would engage the heavily armed Sierra leone police in streets battles especially in a heavily populated urban area. Bio promised us he will go after the people responsible for the spontaneous cost of living demonstration . So accusing the young men of being combatants is not only misleading but raise serious questions about the police action themselves. In the absence of any video evidence the public and the families of the dead are left completely in the dark, none the wiser about what really happened. This is a state directed revenge killings .

    Enough of the spilling of the blood of Sierra Leoneans by fellow Sierra Leoneans. The state have the obligation to protect every Sierra Leonean life and property. I hope the international community will not buy into Bio’s lies. This was just a false flag moment by Bio for licence to kill his perceived enemies, real or imagined that he thinks wants to make the country ungovernable . And the explanation given by the Sierra leone police is just to try and get the international community onboard for their reckless behaviour and lack of respect for the fundamental human rights of the youths of Sierra Leone . What happened to the rule of law , and the right to assemble peacefully and protest against government policies . There are lots of Families that might have voted for him in the last elections and are now living with guilt and regret.

    The reasons given by the Sierra Leone police and the rhetoric we heard from Bio seemed to suggest they must have got the nod from the president himself to carry out this extrajudicial killing of Mr Hassan Dumbuya . May his soul and the souls of all that lost their lives under Bio’s watch rest in peace . Bio might turn out to be the only President that has killed more Sierra Leoneans in peace times than any other President both past and present. He will go down in history as the worst president we ever elected . The Idi Amin Daddah of Sierra Leone . There are two things note watching here . How the President reacted and the explanation given by his hemchmen about the reasons why people take to the streets . Blaming it on the opposition party, especially the Mayor of Freetown who hardly venture outside the capital is wrong. The real reasons we are still stuck in this merry go round of violence and killings is corruption, lack of transparency and accountability. Anyone who tell you otherwise should have their brains examined.

  7. Yes of course, after their disgraceful coup attempt, and all their premeditated organized plan to overthrow the elected government, implemented and executed the terrorism and terrorized their own brothers and sisters without no regard, in the eyes of the whole world. Just to gain power, they care about nothing, but the international world have come to understand that, APC in Sierra Leone will never be recognize as a peaceful party, but terrorists groups. This coup was planed, and properly organized by APC by Samura Kamara and Ernest Bai Koroma it is a wake up call for Maada Bio. I believed that the terrorists safe haven head quarter already been created in Makeni, we will dismantle that shell and exposed it to the whole world. Some of you comparing ” Sri Lanka to Sierra Leone” riot response, let me say this to the terrorists, you are joking. APC don’t care about the police neither the military, now the social media is full of one man’s conversation” Hassan S. Dumbuya”, what about the police officers that being murdered in cold blooded broad day light?, their heads and brains were smashed with sticks and stones, APC, don’t you have conscience? these men and women did not served you for the past 11 year?, is this a government that this nation will consider again to take power? APC you are disgraceful. No it was not a peaceful protest, but a coup, we will come down when it is time. All they thinking about when they go to bed, the next day is to govern Sierra Leone by all means.
    We all shall remember one of the blessed day ever in history, that’s April 29th day 1992, when the one party state was abolished and eliminated totally in this country” Sierra Leone”, and we established democracy. Siaka P. Steven rules for 26 year, retired and passed it on to J.S. Momoh freely like a pan-cake to distribute, both S.I. and C.A. Kamara Tailor were countless, APC party has no democracy. Some nonsense people making today as a talking point saying” Maada Bio ” overthrew an elected government, if you actually have shame to yourself, you won’t altered such a statement because the whole knew that, Momoh was not an elected President, can you dispute that?. Accusing Bio of judicial killing? man watch your step, Bio is the father of democracy in Sierra Leone, if not him Ernest Koroma could have become President. Who was suppose to become the Chairman of NPRC, is the late” Lt. Sandy” but he was shot at his back from his mother’s boyfriend” Sim Turay” APCs loyalist. Do you know how the APC used to punished the soldiers in the war front?. Koroma promised to change the old APC to a fresh one, but he’s the worst. The operations will continue and all terrorists must root out from their hides-out safe havens, and brought to justice. The terrorists, supporters, collaborators and the secret financers will expose to whole nation. We will come get you where ever you are. If APC can invite the Chinese national to openly campaign and let them wore the APC polo or vest just to win elections, what else they can’t do? you can’t do that in China folks. I believe even in the United States according to their law, if you are not a Citizen can’t interfere in their politics.
    Folks, mistakes were made for us to learn from, but if someone fails to learn from it, that person is stupid. Do you want to turn this country as Haiti, Somali or Lybia?.

    • Brima Sesay, you have been a longtime commentator on this forum where free speech and the need to ensure that false accusations are not made against anyone or group of people, especially in these very troubled and dangerous times in Sierra Leone, and I find some of your comments unacceptable. Furthermore, going so far as to threaten other commentators will not be tolerated here. To quote you: “Accusing Bio of judicial killing? man watch your step”. You are therefore banned from this forum. No one should feel afraid or intimidated here.

  8. The APC party is distancing itself from the deadly riot on 10 August 2022 that rocked Freetown and some parts of the northerner province. In an article posted yesterday by this paper, the deceased Evangelist Samson is described as one of the strong APC media gurus on Social Media. The paper further went on to say that he was one of the planners and executioners of the deadly 10 August 2022 riot that left several people dead including general duty police officers who do not carry arms in Sierra Leone. In his contribution above, Young4na described the killing as an assassination of the APC young man.

    Unfortunately, if you live in a glass house, you do not throw stones. As the investigations unfold into his killings, throwing unnecessary aspersion and making Samson the angel that he was is dreadful and and adverse to the rest of the people whose lives, properties and wellbeing he deliberately and calculatedly destroyed on 10 August 2022. If you are armed and you engaged the police with the view of escaping an arrest after committing a felonious crimes, you risk being shot in the melee and I do not see anywhere else in the world were this would not have ended in the way it did in his situation. Was that the best way for him to go? No. But he chose that way by refusing to report himself to the nearest police station in Freetown and in Makeni where he had ran to after the havoc he had perpetrated in Freetown despite repeated call for them to surrender.
    As for the APC , we cannot have it two ways. We either come out and take responsibility for the riot and apologize to the nation or we continue dissociating the party from killers, arsonist and violent mobs.

    • David Samura, the Sierra Leone Telegraph did not say in any of its published stories that Evangelist Samson is one of the planners and executioners of the deadly 10 August 2022 riot. You have fabricated something that can only exist in your imagination. To quote you: “In an article posted yesterday by this paper, the deceased Evangelist Samson is described as one of the strong APC media gurus on Social Media. The paper further went on to say that he was one of the planners and executioners of the deadly 10 August 2022 riot that left several people dead including general duty police officers who do not carry arms in Sierra Leone.” You are therefore banned from this forum, as we do not tolerate the peddling of dangerous lies here.

  9. People wonder why the RUF wars were so vicious, why the Liberian war was so brutal.
    The heavy hand of Stevens and Doe precipated these conflicts.
    The savage killing of Thomas Quiwonpa and the unlawful jailing of Corporal Sankoh lead to years of war.
    Violence begets violence. Actions have consequences. The police statement is complete nonsense.
    If ex combatants had gathered together, as was implied, firstly, the intelligence should have identified them and their faction.
    Secondly, these are battle hardened men, who have fought South Africans, Nigerian commandoes, British SAS amongst others and they engaged in a cross fire with the police/security forces from an ambush position and nobody died or was injured, except a civilian.
    Finally, all the governments of the world who have actual intelligence services have categorised it as a violent protest.Check the CIA page on SL, however, the S.L.P.P with their Kailahun court barre tactics are killing inocents in the name of insurrection.
    The Chinese have a saying ” be careful what you wish for”

  10. What else could the police possibly say to coverup the assassination of the APC young man? Just last night, i spoke to a family member whose daughter has a small business stall, selling drinks at Rogbaneh road in Makeni, he shared to me how his daughter had relay to him that Samson was just at his stall, buying drinks with his friends, before the military personnel that executed him showed up, shot him dead and loaded his body on the back of a pickup truck, all happening right at the central business district of Makeni.

    Now the police are saying he died because of cross fire exchange. This goes to show the gradual mistrust and animosity that the current leadership approach continues to sow between the citizens and the security personnel. With many of our police officers not carrying weapons, this reckless behavior by the regime is putting more security forces lives to risk. Ultimately, no one will emerge a winner if common sense approach is not being consider.

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