- assaults Concord Times ace political reporter
DECEMBER 3, 2014 By Hawa Amara
The human rights, social affairs commentator and political reporter of Concord Times newspaper was yesterday assaulted by one Abu Bakarr Kamara aka ‘Koroma APC’ attached to the Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Karamoh Kabba, at Youyi building in Freetown.
The incident occurred when a group of local contractors converged at the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs to follow up on a protest letter they had earlier written to the minister and other State officials expressing their frustrations over the selling of London Mining to Timis Mining Corporation without paying them for services rendered.
One of the protesters, Paul Tucker during a radio discussion programme, claimed that London Mining had deprived them of getting their money before the company was sold, but ‘Koroma APC’ accused him of not being part of the group of companies that are to be paid; a charge that resulted into a fisticuff.
“Myself and a reporter from Radio Democracy 98.I, Michael Sambola, were invited to cover the story but because of the conflict between ‘Koroma APC’ and the contractors, I decided to take a snapshot to get a clear picture of what was actually happening. It was a serious confrontation in which both ‘Koroma APC’ and others used unprintable words against each other. In that case, I decided to take a photo of the incident and that prompted ‘Koroma APC’ to descend on me, slapped me twice on the neck and chin, accusing me of being part of the group that had argued with him,” explained Massaquoi, who doubles as National President of the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU).
“I reported the assault to the Youyi Building police post where a statement was obtained from me. But prior to my arrival at the police post, ‘Koroma APC’ had already entered a complaint against me, claiming that I was part of those who assaulted him.”
Massaquoi said both of them were issued with medical forms by the police, adding that it was unfortunate that he had to be assaulted “by a political thug” for merely performing his official job.
“I have already informed the president of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), the executive of the Sierra Leone Reporters Union and the management of Concord Times newspaper to institute an inquiry into the matter,” Massaquoi said.
‘Koroma APC’, in his statement to the police, also claimed that he was assaulted by eight individuals including Tucker.
“I need a medical paper so that we can take the matter further. In fact, I have informed the Attorney General, the head of CID and other State authorities about this development,” he boasted.