October 12, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The National Elections Watch (NEW) Chairperson, Masellah Samba-Sesay has called for the arrest and detention of National Electoral Commission staff, whom they claimed inflated figures in favour of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party at the just concluded Koinadugu bye-elections.
She was speaking last Friday at a press conference organized at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown whilst presenting their findings in relation to the October 2nd Koinadugu district chairman and councilor bye-elections.
She said NEW is a coalition of 400 non-governmental organisations charged with the responsibility to observe all public elections across the country.
She noted that what NEW saw in that elections were unprecedented as ‘NEC official at the tallying center changed the result of the SLPP councilor candidate from 49 to 149 at polling Centre 61010 station 1.
The chairperson claimed that the actual result in that election was that APC 82 votes and SLPP 49 votes, but that NEC refused to do the correction.
According Charles Kef Cobai another NEW staff, 300 observers and 21 trained supervisors were deployed in all polling stations to observed the Koinadugu district elections.
He alleged that the deputy minister of Political and Public Affairs, Amara Kallon and the minister of Youth, Mohamed Oman Bangura entered polling station 3, and pushed everyone outside which resulted in serious chaos.
Cobia also alleged that at polling centre 6115, at RC Primary School, a group of SLPP ‘thugs’ entered the polling centre pillion on 8 motorbikes forcing everyone to run for their lives.
He claimed that the thugs counted the ballot papers and declared SLPP as winners after which they set ablaze all voting materials including the ballot papers and boxes.
NEW observers also accused the SLPP candidates for the Koinadugu district council chairperson, Alhaji Sheku Koroma, that he was accompanied by Sierra Leone Police personnel to some polling stations where they physically assaulted the APC party agents who tried to take photograph of the scene.