President Bio’s Press Freedom Drive Undermined in Sierra Leone
Gabriel Tommy, Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) stands accused of undermining President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction administration. Tommy has not only proved his incompetence in occupying such an enviable position, his recent activities has clearly shown that he is not capable to rule over a police department task with the responsibility of tackling crime across the borders of Sierra Leone.
His recent quest to deliberately undermine the government move to repeal the criminal libel laws of the country is something most journalists in Sierra Leone have called for his immediate replacement.
President Maada Bio in his speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 2nd May 2019 stated that “Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we are still committed to repealing the seditious libel law. Consistent with the pledge to repeal the obnoxious Section of the Public Order Act 1965, which criminalizes defamation and seditious libel, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has held consultations with key stakeholders including the Law Officers Department, and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists amongst others to adopt the appropriate strategy. The draft cabinet paper requesting the amendment of the Public Order Act 1965 has been submitted to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for her consideration”
While President Bio and his government are working tirelessly to repeal these dangerous laws, Tommy is busy undermining the number one gentlemen of the state.
Few days after President Bio’s pronouncement, the CID Director landed five Sierra Leonean journalists in court with the evil intention of placing them behind bars until their last breath in prison.
The CID Director has waged a war against the five journalists whom he accused of defaming his character in the Standard Times and Future Newspapers.
The five journalists Tommy is currently fighting hard to destroy are:
- Philip Neville, Executive Editor of Standard Times Newspaper and two of his workers, Mustapha Sesay and Clifford Kabia; and
- Managing Editor of Future Newspaper Moisa Keikura and
- Editor of Sierra Express Media, Ibrahim Alusine Kamara.
They made their first appearance at the Magistrate Court Number One at Pademba Road on Monday May 6th, 2019.
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