Minister slams Police release

27
Dec

Sierra Leone Sport Minister Paul Kamara has lashed out at the police force for interfering in the ongoing power struggle in the Football Association of the country.

A group of administrators decided last week to remove Sierra Leone Football Association president Isha Johansen from power after an unofficial Congress conducted through a teleconference call.

The rival body resorted to the conference call after the police had rejected their request to assemble because of the ban on public gathering over the battle to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.

World football body Fifa had also warned the group that any decision taken would be null and void, but the sport ministry endorsed the removal of Mrs Johansen earlier this week.

However, in an unexpected twist the head of the police force Francis Munu issued a statement calling on the group to rescind its decision to impeach Johansen and called for an investigation into whether an unlawful meeting took place.

Paul Kamara was incensed by the police statement and he went on national radio on Saturday to voice his dissatisfaction.

“The police release is misguided and unfortunate,” the minister said.

“This is not a police state, and its third party interference.

“I don’t recognise it, the release is null and void, and the police have no right to issue such a press release.

“They’re not neutral and they have already taken sides. Very unfortunate indeed,” he claims.

“We have endorsed the SLFA interim administration,” The Minister Paul Kamara said

On Friday, the police had issued a statement backing the SLFA.

“The attention of the Sierra Leone Police has been drawn to an alleged meeting held by a group of aggrieved members of the Sierra Leone Association (SLFA) called Stakeholders consultative forum, the said meeting was allegedly held at an undisclosed location on the 20th December, 2014, despite earlier refusal to permit such meeting by the Sierra Leone Police and the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) due to the current State of Public Emergency.

“Should this information be true, it is tantamount to a violation of the Law including the public emergency regulations, 2014. The criminal investigations department of Sierra Leone police has been tasked to investigate the allegations relation to the alleged holding of such meeting without lawful authority.

“The state of affairs in the Sierra Leone Football Association and in the interest of public tranquillity, safety, peace and security in the state, the Sierra Leone Police orders all SLFA parties to stay calm, law abiding and to revert to the status quo of the SLFA administration prior to the alleged unlawful meeting until a lawful procedure is taken to resolve the impasse.”

By Alie Bittar

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2018

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