President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
State House, Freetown
Sierra Leone14th November 2014
By way of introduction, Your Excellency, the Kono District Global Organisation (KDGO) is a registered and non-profit Global Organisation that embodies our traditions, cultures, values and beliefs. As an umbrella organisation, our ultimate goal is to Unite all Descendants and Kono District Groups globally, Promote the Socio-Economic Development of the District and to effectively work in collaboration with Community Organisations, Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Governments and Charities in achieving our goals.
Sir, we the members of the above organisation wish to highlight matters which are of very serious concern to the people of Kono district. Sometime in April this year, our organisation sent you our first letter of concerns to which we got neither response nor the addressing of the issues raised therein. We hope this time you would be kind enough to address our previous and current concerns for the benefit of the people of Kono in particular and Sierra Leone at large.
1. UNLAWFUL KILLINGS, ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND INCARCERATIONS OF INNOCENT KONO INHABITANTS
It is an undisputed truism that Konos are very peaceful, humble and law abiding citizens. Hence we welcome and embrace all fair measures by the authorities of the state and the Sierra Leone Police Force to prevent crime, protect lives and properties and to uphold the rule of law.
The police remain the guardians of our laws and therefore they should implement them equitably. However, when the police shoot and kill unarmed youths with impunity, arbitrarily arrest innocent citizens and choose to literally export them to Freetown, with directives from above, we wonder what has become of the even-handedness of our justice system. Such actions cast suspicion which engenders a sour taste for justice and the legal procedures required of the Sierra Leone Police Force.
His Excellency Sir, we are aware that there was an upheaval in Koidu Town on the 22nd October 2014 in which innocent youths in the persons of Messrs Kalil Mansaray (alias Freetown Boy) and Safea Yayah lost their lives because of the disproportionate and indiscriminate force used by the police. May their souls rest in perfect peace!
We are also aware that arbitrary arrests were made, spearheaded by the Deputy Minister of Political Affairs, Mr. Karamoh Kabba who came up with a fictitious list of names and which you signed. We are equally aware that the Vice President, Alhaji Sidique Sam-Sumana who happens to be the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Police Federation, was not consulted before those arrests were made.
It is now clear that some of the people on that list for example Counsellor Tamba Fomba, Messrs T-Boy Kaingbanja, Aiah Mbawah and Emmanuel Jimissa were in Freetown and not in Koidu Town at the time of the unrest.
We have noted that unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and incarcerations of innocent citizens are now a norm in our beloved land. In Febuary this year, some innocent youths were unlawfully arrested and sent to prison in Kenema. This action by the police showed no regard for our geographically defined status as a legitimate district with our own legal and legitimate freedom of existence within the wider national framework. On December 13, 2007, the police shot and killed Mr. Aiah Momoh and Mr. Momoh Musa during a very peaceful protest in Koidu Town against the OCTEA mining company. And on 18 December 2012, Messrs Alimamy Williams and Abdulai Kargbo were also killed during another peaceful protest over their bonuses as OCTEA mining employees. It is sad and very disheartening that these killings were never fully investigated in order to bring the perpetrators to book. We are all for the law taking its rightful course where any form of breach has ensued, but the proper procedures must be followed to the letter. As citizens of the Republic we are hereby requesting that you set up an independent inquiry to investigate those brutal killings and arbitrary arrests and bring to justice all the perpetrators.
2. THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF DR. DAVID TAM- BARYOH
His Excellency, we the sons and daughters of Kono district are also deeply troubled by the arrest and subsequent detention of the nationally renowned journalist, Dr. David Tam- Baryoh. The prolonged detention of this fine gentleman with no charges brought against him and denying him access to his family is an absolute violation of his constitutional and human rights. This action is also a flagrant violation of the rule of law, the promotion of democracy and advancement of judicial transparency. Please be mindful that Sierra Leone has made significant gains over the years in these priority areas and it will be disheartening to see this trend being reversed. Sir, we therefore appeal for his unconditional release or him being tried in a competent court of law.
Finally, Your Excellency, the constitution of Sierra Leone lays emphasis on Unity, Freedom and Justice which entitles us all to justice, freedom, protects us from arbitrary arrests and prolonged incarcerations without due process. Any violation of these basic tenets of our justice system is tantamount to the abuse of power.This must stop because the unrest in the district is reaching a limit where it could escalate to unimaginable levels. This situation needs to be addressed and as President of our country, we rely on your wisdom and goodwill for prompt action. Our people are fearful of what might become a chaotic and uncontrollable situation. Let us not loose sight of the fact that the country suffered an eleven-year rebel war not too long ago and that Kono bore the brunt of that war. The scars are still visible in our towns, villages and on our people. So we are depending on your good offices to deal with this very urgent call to bring sanity in our beloved land, KONO.
Sir, we will copy the following dignitaries: VP, Sam-Sumana, The First Lady, Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma, Kono Ministers and MPs, all other Political Party Leaders of our district, The Koidu City Mayor, Councillors, The Kono Civil Defence Unit, Religious Leaders and all the Chiefs in our district so that they are informed of our concerns affecting the district, the people and us in the diaspora.
On our behalf and on behalf of our people back home in Kono, we thank you in advance for concrete and urgent solution to the grave matters of concern raised herein and hope this time round we will hear from you.
Sahr Sylvanus Sinah
Aiah Fanday (001-2408213641)
Sahr Sylvanus Sinah(+447414849138)