- IG Munu vows
May 20, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police yesterday vowed “to stand by any decision taken by his officers to dispel any attempt at contravening the law in the face of a false claim to human rights”.
Francis Allieu Munu told a presser at the Police headquarters in Freetown that the force has operational orders that guide ranking personnel on how to handle situations, and noted that police officers should take full responsibility of their command and control decisions.
“In the Sierra Leone Police that I run, I have maintained that there are no orders from above that should stop a police officer from performing the duties for which he/she has been trained. I will stand by any decision by my officers to dispel any attempt at contravening the law,” he vowed.
With regards granting permit for public gatherings during the State of Public Emergency, IG Munu revealed that the SLP takes certain matters into consideration before granting permits, including whether the event would have a positive impact on the fight against the Ebola virus disease, as well as guarantees from those planning the event that they would be responsible for all those who attend, among others.
He maintained that if the police were not satisfied that all the conditions provided would be met by those who request for permit and to safeguard public safety as well as law and order, they would refuse to grant a permit.
However, the police have come under heavy criticism for disproportionately using their powers to grant or refuse permission to individuals and civic groups during the State of Emergency. Right groups, including the national Human Rights Commission, have questioned the “discriminatory” way and manner in which the force has granted permission to gather during emergency regulations.
But Mr. Munu insisted that their duty requires a fine line between performing strictly professional operations as expected and to be a ‘force for good’ by ensuring that the police are above “intimidation or manipulation by outside forces”.
Meanwhile, the police boss said the force was doing a lot at present as they prepare for post-Ebola reconstruction, with heavy premium put on learning as plans were underway to establish a Sierra Leone International Law Enforcement Academy.