Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 May 2020:
The Sierra Leone police has been on national TV displaying what it says is evidence it needs to bring charges in court against Dr Sylvia Blyden, who has been locked up in prison since the 1st of May 2020, without charge, whilst CID detectives go on what is fast becoming a futile and desperate hunt in search of evidence to have her prosecuted for subversion.
Shockingly, this morning the police presented a large portrait of the former president of Sierra Leone – Ernest Bai Koroma which the police say they recovered from the home of Dr Sylvia Blyden, as an exhibit in their ongoing search for evidence to prove her guilty.
So far, this is the only evidence they have been able to present to the public, despite impounding her phones and computers.
But the response of many on social media to the presentation by the police of the former president’s portrait as evidence of guilt, has been nothing other than humiliation for the country’s police force that is now being lampooned.
They accuse the police of unprofessionalism, and at worse – a waste of tax payers’ money searching around for evidence that does not exist to prosecute Dr Blyden.
You can watch the video of the police presentation here:
Yesterday, Dr Blyden issued this statement from her prison cell:
‘’Tell everyone, especially my mother, that I am fine. The Freedom that Democratic Countries expect as normal everyday life was not achieved cheaply. Some people fought hard and suffered for it.
“Let my family and friends know that I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have only stood for my Democratic and Human Rights. Though the conditions under which I am detained are horrible, I am willing to be detained for as long as it pleases His Excellency to have me detained. I am okay’’.
Meanwhile, an old video has emerged showing president Bio as an SLPP opposition leader, calling on his supporters not to be calm and peaceful in the face of provocation by APC supporters.
Many are now saying that this is evidence of ‘president Bio inciting violence or encouraging violence and chaos in the country’ as an opposition leader, and for which – neither he nor any of his supporters were arrested and put in prison by the former government.
“Why can’t president Bio uphold similar standards of civil liberty and human rights, set by former president Koroma for the sake of peace in Sierra Leone, instead of going around arresting anyone that criticises his government”, many are now asking.
This is what president Bio said as an opposition leader:
Sierra Leone police are still struggling to find credible evidence with which to charge and prosecute Dr Sylvia Blyden or arrest other members of the opposition for subversion, including the former president Ernest Bai Koroma, after rumours that he is next on the list, amid calls for his arrest by ruling SLPP supporters.
Concerns for the health and wellbeing of Dr Blyden in prison are growing. Last week, senior officials in the British government contacted the Sierra Leone Telegraph about reports of political arrests and abuse of human rights by the Sierra Leone government.
Let’s pray for our country and its leaders and say no to violence, this country is ours and no place like home. We have suffered a lot. We pray with the blessing of this month may God continues to give peace and prosperity to our land. Long live Bio and long live Sierra Leone.
Is this article satirical? I can’t believe that the police can indict someone based on a photo. What about what was extracted from her computer and phones?
Since when did Sierra Leone become a Stalinist state or a North Korea? Does the Attorney-general know her job? Is there anybody with common sense in the Bio administration. The whole mess makes the administration look like a bunch of five year old children in a school yard fighting over nothing.
If the best evidence investigators can produce in a case of this magnitude is a portrait of a former president then to describe them as infantile is a gross understatement. The fact is they don’t know how to mitigate the stench which they walked into with their eyes wide open. For heaven’s sake let them just let Sylvia go. If they are worried about the embarrassment this will cause them,let them do so under cover of darkness.
Displaying a protrait of past president is not a crime or evidence to charge someone to court. Please let the police come out with tangible claims. Even in State House and parliament the portraits of our previous presidents are displayed.
This is what happens when clueless, lawless people are entrusted with power;they oftentimes become overzealous,and completely blindsided by their debilitating shortcomings and inadequacies. A PORTRAIT of an ex President points to what exactly in matters concerning allegations of serious criminal offences?
Is this what law and order looks like in our country presently – officials making illegal arrests,not knowing the meaning of due process, tangible, preferred evidence, and the time frames involved in ensuring that a crime scene isn’t compromised, and the rights of citizens,and individuals are not violated? If a portrait is all you’ve got – you’ve got nothing; let the poor little lady go.
Lord have mercy our professional police force? Sierra Leone what is happening. To say our chairman and Leader ‘s portrait is the only exhibit these guys could point at to keep Dr Blaydon in an inhumane condition? How much hate can you display for the world to know? Thanks to Allah EBK is showing you how much he loves his the people of Sierra Leone. His silent is really bothering this government. Waaaw
Dear Sierra Leone brothers and sister, are these people we called Sierra Leone Police living in the real world? They are corrupt, lack common sense, useless and unfit to uphold the rule of law. Even my 10years old son thought this cannot be right and what is the president doing about this ridiculous situation?
Locking up your fellow human being for just in possession of the former president’s portrait. Maada Bio please take control of your presidency, them mammy them say tie you belt and let us see real president rather than Micky mouse one.
This is unbelievable!!! The level of unprofessionalism displayed by the Sierra Leone police is shameful and disgraceful. We as Sierra Leoneans must be worried about the recent political intimidation and harassment the opposition members are facing. These are things that are very harmful to the fragile peace and democracy we have in our country.
I hope and pray the president and his supporters will put the country ahead of their party and try to bring all of us together. But candidly, this government has failed completely in trying to unify our country. God help us.
If the Police cannot find any tangible evidence they have to let her go. However, sowing division in the country is not going to work. Sierra Leone AG and Minister of Justice, is responsible to make a statement. Dr. Priscilla Schwartz who is the AG and Minister of Justice need to step up, not the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone (POTRSL).
Comment about APC and SLPP, we are all Sierra Leoneans, there is NO APC-Sierra Leone; NO-SLPP Sierra Leone, there is only one country Sierra Leone. So let us refrain from indirectly inciting division.
Mr. Reinhard Wiecha, I don’t know about the German constitution, but the Sierra Leone constitution requires any presidential candidate to have a running mate just in case a situation like what transpired at Pademba Road prison while the president is in self isolation because of health reason. The Vice President Juldeh Jalloh performed his constitutional duty to step in for the president to get first hand and credible information by visiting the crime scene and made a statement on behalf of his boss by informing the citizens that the situation is now under investigation.
The basic rule of any investigation is to ask questions even if you are investigating your family member the process is you first ask for their name and address, so asking Sylvia Blyden about a portrait of the former president which was at government offices is critical to the investigation based on the information that Sylvia has already revealed. Finally, I hope the whole video clip was displayed which I believe is longer than 11 seconds so readers can make their judgment.
Is this all a joke or not? And up to now no statement from the president.Please step down Mr. president.
This action by the Police, under the leadership of the newly-appointed IG Sovula, is crass and ridiculous. This is a new low for the POlice. Surely they did not expect to find the portrait of President Bio adonrning the walls of Mdm Blyden’s parlour? The latter is from a political family which has historically aligned with the opposition APC.
If this is the rule book of the new IG then i fear the State will have to build scores of prisons to chuck all those with the portrait of former President Koroma in their homes.
Come on Mr Police. What’s this. You mean you cannot recognize the portrait of ex Prezo Koroma, the leader of Sylvia’s party. Why do you pretend you don’t know or recognize him. Is this what you’re going to charge her for. I cannot believe this to be true oh? Let her go and save all of us from ignoble shame. Sylvia isn’t my friend, in fact I don’t like her for her claims to be “Md Know all.
Our once nickname police “force for good” are becoming a laughing stock. I couldn’t help myself but chuckle after watching the first clip with the senior police officer brandishing a portrait of EBK as an evidence. To top it all, the efulefu officer is asking a rhetorical question demanding that, Dr. Blyden should tell them exactly who is the person in the portrait. God oh my Salone people, hahahaha. What is exactly going on in our nation??
What an outrageous and ridiculous form of exhibit. What does the portrait of former president Ernest Bai Koroma has to do with such an investigation that was classed as inciting hatred and violence in the country? It’s just a disgrace for the world to see how some officials in the Bio lead SLPP and some of our institutions behave. These videos are really portraying Sierra Leone like a country filled with officials fabricating and manipulating with justice in broad daylight. Has the hanging of the portrait of former President Ernest Bai Koroma in our homes, become a crime in Sierra Leone? Again, RIDICULOUS and appalling.
People like us knew from the very start, that Dr Sylvia Blyden did nothing wrong. Bottom line, she would be released unconditionally without charge. PERIOD. All we know is that the wellbeing of Dr. Sylvia Blyden is in the hands of the Bio lead SLPP. They will be held accountable if anything happens with her. God bless Dr Sylvia Blyden.