“This is a political witch-hunt against Dr. Samura and we will resist it” Opposition protesters
By Alpha Kamara in New York
Sierra Leone’s main opposition strongman has been released on bail after four hours of questioning. The questioning was conducted at the offices of the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission in Freetown. Dr. Samura Kamara who was the 2018 flag bearer of the main opposition All People’s Congress APC party, was questioned around allegations of corruption relating to the refurbishment of Sierra Leone’s chancery building in New York.
Director of Public Education at the Anti-Corruption Commission Patrick Sandy said the opposition leader was invited not as a politician, but as a former Foreign Affairs Minister to explain his involvement or share information he has regarding the refurbishment of the country’s chancery building in New York which has stalled for years now. The invitation of the opposition leader created minor tension in the capital Freetown as thousands of opposition supporters protested outside the office of the Anti-Corruption Commission over what they called “political witch-hunt and biased against the opposition”.
Some of the opposition protesters said they were angry that several top government figures were named by the investigation. But nothing has been said about them. Why should they target Dr. Samura who has not been in governance since 2018? They asked.
Riot police fired teargas canisters in the air to disperse protesters and tried to put the situation under control. Inspector General of Police Ambrose Sovula said they exploded the tear gas to put the rowdy crowd under control and urged them to respect the country’s laws.
In May this year, the Africanist Press, an online investigative media published that after two years since an amount of $ 4 million was released, high profile government officials have embezzled the money meant for the renovation and refurbishment of the Chancery Building of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York. The Africanist Press further alleged that the said $ 4 million could have been misappropriated through corrupt means by public officials and ruling party members including some diplomatic staff. Information regarding the investigation has not been made public.
Dr. Samura Kamara was later released on bail after the interrogation in the presence of his legal team and other key opposition leaders including the minority leader of parliament Hon. Cherinor Marju Bah.