Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 September 2022:
There was chaotic standoff at the Freetown City Council yesterday afternoon when scores of armed police officers moved in to arrest the Lord Mayor – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, who according to a police notice is wanted for questioning over allegations of disruptive behaviour at a police station two weeks ago.
According to reports, Assistant Inspector General of Police – Brima Jah who is head of the operation, along with the Head of the Criminal investigation department arrived at the Office of the Mayor to deliver a letter “inviting the mayor for questioning” at the Criminal Investigations Department.
According to the letter, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr is wanted for questioning in response to an allegation of “obstructing police duties and disorderly behaviour in a police station”.
An unconfirmed statement from Mayor Aki-Sawyerr seen by the Sierra Leone Telegraph last night, reads: “My lawyers came, and the police handed over an invitation for me to report to the Criminal Investigations Division tomorrow (Friday, 30th September) at 10am. I am to be questioned in relation to “obstructing police work and disorderly behaviour at a police station”.
“This allegedly happened on 17th September when Councillor Sheku Turay was arrested at Lungi Airport. My lawyers have written back to the police asking that the interview be rescheduled for Monday. Interviews that are conducted on Fridays usually result in bail not being granted and detentions over the weekend. We are waiting to get a response from the police to that request.”
For millions of Sierra Leoneans across the country and outside, the pending arrest and incarceration of Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is a concerted and well-orchestrated political ploy by President Bio to silence and remove Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr from office.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is a leading figure in the country’s main opposition APC party that lost the 2018 elections to the Bio-led SLPP party by a narrow three percentage points, which the APC are hoping to regain at the polls in just under twelve months.
This heavy-handed police action and continuous harassment by the government, come days after Mayor Aki-Sawyerr arrived back in Freetown with over a Million Dollars from the Bloomberg Foundation to help with the development of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown.
Since her election as Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has attracted tens of millions of dollars from the international community into the country, which the ruling SLPP regard as a threat to their ambition to take over political control of the capital Freetown.
Just hours before the police moved in to effect their arrest, the relentlessly hardworking and development focused Mayor Aki-Sawyerr posted this on Twitter: “About to start Freetown City Council’s monthly Council Meeting. The work to #TransformFreetown goes on.”