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 ‘Police should not be abusers of our constitution’

Ibrahim Tommy

Mach 23, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi

police
CARL’S Executive Director Ibrahim Tommy

Executive Director of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) has called on the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to be professional in carrying out their constitutional mandate, adding that even though the SLP has the mandate to investigate criminal offences, the human rights of the citizenry must be respected.

Ibrahim Tommy made the statement during a press conference yesterday hosted at the offices of the Institute for Governance Reforms (IGR) in Freetown.

It could be recalled that the National Electoral Commission on Wednesday, 21st March, issued a press statement accusing the Sierra Leone Police of harassment against their staff with less than a week to a crucial run-off presidential election.

“The police can arrest but that has to be done within the framework of the constitution. Again, when you restrict or restrain the movement of people, you must be able to do so within the law. My statement is not an attempt to shield NEC because they should be  held accountable for the job they have done for the people of Sierra Leone, but if NEC staff say the activities of the SLP  has negative effects on their operations, this  situation should be scary. This is a reflection of a poor leadership management of the SLP.  It is clear in the electoral law that the SLP should work with NEC personnel during electioneering period, so if the SLP needed a staff of NEC, they should inform the leadership of that institution but that was not done, according to the press release issued yesterday by NEC. The police has embarked on an unwarranted visit into the premises of NEC and that has warranted the issuance of the press release,” he said, adding that the laws in Sierra Leone are very clear that NEC should conduct elections.

“I am urging the Sierra Leone Police to do their work within the confines of the law. NEC has reported the arrest of their staff in Karene and they were held for six days without any charges. It is a serious matter and I am calling on the SLP to be professional in carrying out their constitutional mandate,” he urged.

Sierra Leone will conduct crucial second round of presidential poll between Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Samura Kamara of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party and All Peoples Congress respectively, next Tuesday.

But there is uncertain as to whether the poll will go ahead as a lawyer, known for his allegiance to the ruling party, seeks an injunction to restrain NEC from conducting the election until “a forensic audit and manual recount is done.”

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