November 13, 2017 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Following a request by the Sierra Leone Police for the Sierra Leone’s Peoples party(SLPP) to hand-over their Publicity Secretary Lahai Lawrence Leema for questioning, the party’s Secretary-General Umaru Napoleon Koroma has in a letter dated 10th November 2017 assured that they will today accompany him to the Criminal Investigation Department to answer to allegations made against him by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).
The police have been reportedly on the lookout for Leema over an allegation of assault by management of SLBC. The public broadcaster had alleged that Leema badged into their studios and assaulted members of staff who had earlier hosted one Frankly Rogers, a defector from the opposition party who was a guest that fateful day.
The SLPP Secretary-General has condemned what he referred to as “the frequent and incessant falsehoods, smears aided and abetted by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) on the character and personality of their presidential candidate by the APC Southern Region Deputy Publicity Secretary 2, Mr. Franklin Rogers.
“The SLBC has in the past displayed high level of bias against the SLPP as clearly highlighted in the European Union Observer Mission report during the 2012 Elections. We have again started noticing this trend in the present elections cycle by allowing members of the ruling APC to sit in the studios of the SLBC and unjustifiably attacking the personality of our presidential candidate. We also condemn the physical and verbal attacks on our National Publicity Secretary who went to the studios as he had done on many occasions, to ask for a right of reply to the comments made by Franklin Rogers of the APC,” said the party’s scribe in a release.
According to Koroma, he had promised police authorities that he would hand over Leema to the police last Thursday, but unfortunately a truck load of armed police personnel were sent to Port Loko to arrest their party Publicity Secretary while attending a national executive committee meeting.
“We are not in any way preventing our spokesperson from going to the CID headquarters for questioning because we know there is no case against him but we want to ensure that it is orderly done because the security of our spokesperson is paramount,” he said.
Responding to the police request, he said as a responsible and law abiding political party, they would assist the Sierra Leone police to thoroughly investigate the above allegations made against Leema.
“I will also want to encourage the Sierra Leone Police to be non-partisan and conduct themselves with impartiality and professionalism in dealing with matters that may be politically motivate,” he stated in his reply to the police request.
Meanwhile, in a letter dated 10th November, 2017 the SLP insisted that only four opposition party supporters should accompany Leema to the CID today. They added that allegations against the SLPP publicity secretary include trespass against a public institution, thus urging that the investigation should not be politicised.