Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 June 2017
A story published by Awareness Times yesterday, Tuesday 27th of June, 2017, alleging the involvement of one of the main contenders of the country’s 2018 presidential election – Mr Alie Kabba, has been condemned by his campaign team “as false, malicious and lazy journalism”.
According to Alie Kabba’s spokesperson, speaking to the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph this morning; “Alie Kabba has his own vehicles, and has never been involved in any fraudulent deal to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser, as alleged in the Awareness Times story.
“No one from Awareness Times contacted us at the Alie Kabba office to verify their allegations before publishing their story. This is bad journalism and the Independent Media Commission must act now
“It is a blatant and wicked attempt by detractors of Alie Kabba to discredit and malign his good name and character ahead of the 2018 elections, and we are seriously considering legal action. We therefore demand an immediate apology and retraction of the story by Awareness Times.”
This is the story that was published by Awareness Times yesterday, that has now attracted strong condemnation and threats of lawsuit:
“Magistrate Albert Moody of the Freetown Magistrate Court No.2 at Siaka Steven Street Law Court Building in Freetown Friday June 23rd 2017 has remanded in custody one Gibril Jalloh who is alleged to have converted to his own use and benefit one Toyota Land Cruiser V8, 2003 model that was given to him by the complainant Alhaji Ishmael Kallon for the purposes of sales.
“The complainant, Alhaji Ishmael Kallon testified in court that he is a business man and he recalled sometimes in November 2015 he was at his business place in Brookfields in the Western Area of Freetown and the accused person approached him that Alie Kabba had expressed interest to buy the Toyota Land Cruiser.
“He added that the following day, the accused person negotiate with him that he will pay the sum of fifteen thousand five hundred ($15,500)United States Dollars for the vehicle which he agreed and he handed the vehicle to him. He went on to say that upon the request of the accused person he went to the office of Alie Kabba at small Waterloo Street in Freetown.
“He furthered that when he reached at the office of Alie Kabba, he came to realize that they had already used the vehicle for a week and the staff of Alie Kabba assured him that Alie Kabba is ready to pay for the vehicle.
“The complainant Alhaji Ishmael Kallon went on to say that after few days, he went again to the office of Alie Kabba and they told him that they have handed the vehicle back to the accused person. He added that after two weeks, the accused person called him to say that Alie Kabba’s office no longer interested in buying the car but to rent the car and he said in court that he instructed the accused person not to rent the car.
“The complainant went further to say that since then he did not see the accused person again not until when he reported the matter at the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters in Freetown and he was later arrested this year by police.
“The matter was adjourned to Wednesday June 28 2017 for continuation and the bail of the accused person was restricted by Magistrate Albert Moody and he was remanded in custody at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Center in Freetown.”
But speaking to Alie Kabba this afternoon in Freetown, he told the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph; “I am not involved in any vehicle court case. This is not the first time that Awareness Times have tried to sully my good name and character. Last night I received telephone calls from some of my supporters across the country to confirm the veracity of the story. It was shocking.
“And that was the first time I heard about the false allegations made about me by Awareness Times. I would like to inform my supporters in and out of Sierra Leone that the Awareness Times allegations are false and malicious.
“I demand an immediate and unqualified apology from Awareness Times and a retraction. Clearly there are people who are worried about my popularity in the country, as we approach the presidential election in 2018, and they are now trying to discredit me. But they will not succeed. This is politics of the jungle and it should have no place in our democracy. It has to stop. The IMC must act.”