April 4, 2016 By Casper Hsu and AL Mansaray (Interns from Bournemouth University, UK)
The Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) alleged last Thursday that ruling All Peoples Congress ‘thugs’ physically assaulted him outside Parliament.
Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray described the alleged offenders as ‘APC government thugs’ and says unprintable invectives were also used against his mother during Wednesday’s brawl.
He identified two of the alleged offenders as a male adult who said he came from Canada and a sibling of Mohamed Bangura, plus a third person he couldn’t identify.
“They were physically pushing me away. They were even pushing me away; one of them even held my jacket telling me I would not go anywhere. And I should f*** get out of this place,” he says.
Concord Times is withholding the names of those alleged to have assaulted Mansaray.
He says he was also verbally insulted and called unflattering names.
Mansaray explains that he was initially inside Parliament when journalists informed him that a group of people – whom he had asked to protest against some of the presidential nominees – were outside.
He says he came out and spoke to the protesters and that as he made his way back into the Parliament building, the alleged offenders prevented him from re-entering.
“They came and…kind of barricade the door. They said I would not get in the door. There was so much of them to a problem that there’s a commotion,” he adds.
Mansaray says an APC member – Foday Maris – came and stopped the alleged assaulters, pushing them away and said: “whoever touches Kamarainba, I will press charges on them.”
It was during the ensued fracas, according to Mansaray, that the police arrived on the scene and one ASP Musa Bangura escorted him away, saying “Mr. Kamarainba, for your safety and protection, we want you to leave the scene.”
However, he says “the police were there and they did nothing. In fact, they were even banging and hitting on my car whilst the police was escorting me.”
The ADP leader and chairman describes the incident as political intimidation and adds that about 14 people were involved.
Government spokesman Ajibu Jalloh told Concord Times – when asked for his response – that Mansaray should channel his complaints to the police.
“Absolutely nothing. Government has nothing to say. An allegation is an allegation. Everyone is considered innocent until such time that you are proven guilty in a court of law,” Jalloh says.
However, Mansaray’s narrative of events leading to his alleged assault differ sharply from the police version.
Police spokesman ASP Brima Kamara says Mansaray was at Parliament to protest the approval of one of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s recent cabinet reshuffle nominees, with a group of guys.
Mansaray, according to ASP Kamara, wanted to enter the Parliament building with his supporters who held placards, but were denied entry by security guards.
The Police spokesman says the guards told Mansaray: “No, we can allow you to go in but you cannot go in with these guys. Let them stay out so that you can go in.”
ASP Kamara says Mansaray then made a movement with his hand that triggers the fray with an opposing group nearby.
“Kamarainba raised his hand – whether he was attempting to hit somebody or otherwise, but he raised his hand and then there was an altercation.
“I asked ASP Bangura [the officer who escorted Mansaray away] if there was a kind of scuffle and he said, ‘no, there was no scuffle but there was a kind of altercation,” the Police spokesman explains.
Meanwhile, ASP Kamara says he was not privy to any information about a report of assault allegations being made to the police department by Mansaray.