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21st January 2019

Fear of SLPP Made Ex-Military Presidential Guard Afraid to Attend his Mother's Funeral!

By a press release (28/12/18)

The former APC government presidential guard was afraid to attend his mother's funeral due to the fear spread by the SLPP government!

 

Idrissa 'Leatherboot' Kamara, the former APC government presidential guard, has reportedly been afraid to attend his mother's funeral. Why? Many observers think the current wave of political fear being spread in Sierra Leone by the government of President Julius Maada Bio is responsible. (Photo: President Bio, Commander-in-Chief during a military pass-out).

"We are aware that Idrissa Leatherboot Kamara is in hiding but as an army, we don’t have any issue with him as he was no longer a military officer. All former guards of the former president who are in hiding, were members of the Sierra Leone Police force. Our military officers who were working for the former president’s guards are all fully accounted for apart from Lt. Col. S.T. Sesay who is wanted for questioning but is still out at the African Union working," were words of a senior military source who spoke to Awareness Times on Sunday 23rd December 2018 on condition of anonymity.

He was reacting to reports that came up over the weekend with loss of 87 years old mother of Mr. Idrissa Kamara (aka Leatherboot), a former bodyguard to President Ernest Bai Koroma. The reports are that Leatherboot lost his mother in Freetown on Saturday December 22nd 2018 but family sources inform that Idrissa Leatherboot Kamara who was deeply attached to his mother, Mammy Dumgbu Kamara, is right inside Sierra Leone but is unable to come down to Freetown to attend the burial of his dear mother on Saturday because he is afraid that President Julius Maada Bio’s SLPP-led government will lock him up just as they have locked up Captain Patrick Kamara and others from the former president’s former guards.

Idrissa Leatherboot Kamara has been in hiding now for over six months since June 2018 when Captain Patrick Kamara and others were arrested. Meanwhile, the same senior military source within the Army has also informed Awareness Times that Captain Patrick Kamara, Warrant Officer Class 1 Samuel Conteh and Warrant Officer Class 2 Abu Bakarr Jalloh, will finally face charges at a Court Martial slated to commence on Friday January 4th 2019. The news is that the military prefers to provide the lawyers who should act as Defense for the three men during the court-martial instead of having Lawyer Ady Macauley.

An official release from the Army and Defense Ministry had tried to justify the detention of Captain Patrick Kamara and the two other officers as being because of "disappearance of a large cache of ammunition and some arms, which they had allegedly signed for, collected and kept while working in the former President’s security detail". (Photo: Former President Ernest Koroma in military regalia).

The release had furthered that "disappearance of such ammunition and weaponry poses serious threat to national security." What has however concerned many people is the prolonged detention in conditions that we are informed are harrowing and very depressing. They were detained ever since June 2018.

With the news of their impending court martial to start next Friday, this newspaper will closely follow the proceedings of the court-martial and report back to the public accurately as to the matter. We will also continue to monitor any developments around the ongoing disappearance and hiding of missing men who used to be a part of the former president’s guards.

Sources within the Police have confirmed that Leatherboot was no longer a military officer but had been recruited into the Police. The Police also confirm that some policemen who used to guard former president are indeed in hiding and have now all been dismissed from the Police for being absent without official leave.

It can be recalled that recent local and international concerns were raised over the missing former presidential guards who are said to be in hiding around forests of the country for fear of them being detained as has been done to Captain Patrick Kamara and others.

Courtesy: Awareness Times Newspaper - 24th December 2018

TRIBUTE: Alpha Shaw

Journalist, Student Activist, Leader, 1958-1980

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