CONCERNED SIERRA LEONEANS PRESS RELEASE*
*RE: The unlawful and Unconstitutional Arrest of Abdul Fatoma, the Chief Executive of the Campaign for Human Rights and Democracy International (CHRDI) in Sierra Leone.*
It is with great concerned and consternation that we the members of Concerned Sierra Leoneans observe as Parliament once again abrogates its fiduciary responsibility to uphold and abide by the tenets of the constitution of Sierra Leone and other international treatises Sierra Leone is a signatory to in the arrest of Abdul Fatoma, the chief executive of CHRDI.
Abdul Fatoma’s supposed crime is that he has repeatedly called on members of Parliament to give an auditable and verifiable account for the millions of dollars they were allotted for the development of their constituencies by various international organizations and by the government from the state treasury. He has also repeatedly called on the anti-corruption commission to investigate how these funds were spent.
Concerned Sierra Leoneans maintains that as a citizen of Sierra Leone, Abdul Fatoma is within his constitutional right to ask the members of parliament to give an account of monies entrusted with them for the benefit of the nation and its communities. In addition, as Chief Executive of the Campaign for Human Rights and Democracy International (CHRDI) in Sierra Leone he is merely performing his duties in that capacity and his actions and deeds are protected by our constitution and international instruments we are signatories off. Abdul Fatoma’s request for information can in no way be interpreted as an affront to the dignity of Parliament or an act obstructing the functions of Parliament.
In consideration of these facts Concerned Sierra Leoneans maintains that the arrest and detention of Abdul Fartoma is based on bogus and trumped up charges which we consider a gross abuse of power and a violation of the human rights and civil liberties accorded Sierra Leoneans under our 1991 constitution.
Furthermore, under the freedom of information act, Parliament is obligated to provide the information requested by Abdul Fatoma to the public and failure to do so will be a dereliction of her duties and responsibilities to the people of Sierra Leone.
Concerned Sierra Leoneans is calling on Parliament to cease and desist on this illegal and undignified act of intimidation against Abdul Fatoma and to respond to his request that members of Parliament provide a verifiable account of the funds allocated to Parliamentarians for the development of their constituencies.
Concerned Sierra Leoneans believe that it is the fiduciary responsibility of members of parliament to be answerable and accountable to the citizens of Sierra Leone for whom they work.
Concerned Sierra Leoneans