CID to question former President Koroma

January 8, 2019

By Joseph S. Margai

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma
Osman Foday Yansaneh

Secretary General of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh, has declined knowledge of an invitation extended by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to erstwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma.

While he debunked rumours making the rounds on social media that the ex-president and APC executive had been invited by the CID, BBC’s Umaru Fofana posted on his Facebook page that Ambassador Yansanneh confirmed to him about the invite extended to the party’s leadership.

According to report on social media, the former president was invited to answer to sedition and other related charges emanating from a press release issued by his party.

The release which was issued by the party on 28 December, 2018, stated that “all former appointed ministers, heads of department and agencies will not subject themselves to any kangaroo court commissions of inquiry which are clearly a targeted witch-hunt against North-Westerners and senior APC officials.”

The Sierra Leone Police has in turn issued a statement condemning the content of the press release issued by the APC.

“The Sierra Leone Police considers the press release to be unfortunate and not good for national security as it skews on inciting political, ethnic, and regional divide that will subsequently lead to national instability,” the police stated.

While social media report claimed the APC scribe has confirmed that the party has received the invitation from the CID promising to honour it, Ambassador Yansaneh insisted to Concord Times in a telephone interview that “nobody has invited former President Koroma.”

When contacted on mobile phone, Head of Police Media, Superintendent Brima Kamara told Concord Times that he has not received any report that CID had invited ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma for questioning.

Despite several denials, BBC’s correspondent in Sierra Leone, Umaru Fofana, posted on his Facebook page that Police in Sierra Leone have confirmed that they’ve invited for questioning the former president Ernest Bai Koroma and the rest of the executive of the opposition APC.

Fofana authoritatively quoted Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police for Crime Services, Ibrahim Jah, who had told him that the invite was part of investigations into a press release that the party issued in December, in which they clearly stated that they would not cooperate with the upcoming commissions of inquiry.

“That’s incitement to rebellion and subverting a constitutional instrument,” he quoted AIG Jah.

Meanwhile, the Unity Newspaper, which is the ruling party mouthpiece, has stated in its Monday 7th January, 2019 front page publication that “For Inciting Ethnic Violence in the Country, Ernest Koroma, APC Scribe May Be Arrested.”

The story quoted the Deputy Minister of Information, Solomon Jamiru as saying that the President Bio led government has warned that it will hold the APC leadership including its Leader and Chairman, Ernest Bai Koroma and Secretary General, Osman Foday Yansaneh to bear the greatest responsibility for inciting any ethnic violence.