Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s ACFA former president will spend tonight in police cell

Mahmud Tim Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19th January 2020:

Reliable sources from the Ross Road Police station in Freetown, has confirmed to me that the former President of the Association of Clearing and Forwarding SL (ACFA) – Mr. Abdul Akim Bangura (Photo above – seen in the middle – wearing blue), will spend tonight in police custody.

Members of the ACFA said that Mr. Bangura was bungled out of his home, in what looked like a ‘kidnap’ this morning by police officers, without any legal document justifying his arrest.

All attempts by members of the ACFA to secure his release with a surety was denied by the police, on the grounds that the matter is still under investigation.

But why his kidnap?

Members of the ACFA said the illegal detention of their former President is not unconnected to an election they held few days ago, that led to the peaceful handing over of the organisation’s presidency to his successor Mr. Ibrahim Bashiru Kamara.

They added that, prior to the election they had received serious warnings from the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs – Mr Lahai Lawrence Leema, not to go ahead with the election. The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs however, said he has nothing to do with what’s going on in the organisation.

Police sources said that the former President acted in defiance of initial  orders instructing him not to conduct the elections, but refused to say whether such instructions came from the court.

Many in Sierra Leone and outside are now questioning whether the police have such powers to ask an organisation not to conduct their elections without a court injunction, especially when the said election was peacefully conducted and was rightfully observed based on the constitution of the organisation.

The decision to detain the former President of ACFA, many are now saying was politically motivated, with the losers of the election set to use all political influence at their disposal to secure the Presidency of ACFA.

But what still remains unclear, is the question as to who ordered the illegal detention of the ACFA former President, who will be spending tonight behind bars in a police cell.