''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 9 No 1

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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The AWOKO on the spot report at the Justice Bankole Thompson Commission of Inquiry on what happened the previous day as President Koroma's Chief Protector and Chief Buddy Idrissa Hamid Kamara aka ‘Leather Boot’ took the witness stand gives an insight into the law and order situation in the mother country.

Leatherboot, to remind you lest you've forgotten, is the same man who together with another of his ilk nearly killed Sierra Leonean Tom Nyuma in Bo when then Presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma, flag bearer of the then opposition party the APC was on the campaign trail for the 2007 Presidential elections.

This "Leatherboot" was the errand boy of NPRC Mines minister Glover while Soriba his accomplice in that assault on the hapless Tom Nyuma was the "hold my luggage" boy for Tom during the NPRC regime.

This same Leatherboot served with the notorious AFRC/RUF junta and was at one time assigned to the protection unit of RUF leader Foday Sankoh.

Kindly do not forget too, that Leatherboot was charged to court by experienced police officers who were not impressed with the story rolled out by the likes of Ernest Koroma and the other fox Alpha Kanu.

And with Ernest Bai Koroma winning the 2007 elections, it was only a matter of time before the notorious Serry Kamal applied his nolle prosequi card.

Kindly remember too that Idrissa Hamid Kamara wanted to be re-instated in the army but was rejected outright given his past and so was thrust into the Police on the say so of his buddy President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Now what was interesting about this report is this section

"Further questioned whether he was armed, he (Idrissa Hamid Kamara) said he was because as a close guard to the President he always carried a gun. He even told the Commission that he had his weapon with him while testifying." 

Now you have it. Here is a so-called close protection guard to the President appearing before a civilian hearing actually carrying a weapon on him and proud to say so. Why he was allowed in there with a gun shows the level of breakdown in law and order.

When Sierra Leone was a beautiful country called Sierra Leone, you would never have heard of such a thing - a security guard attached to the President or Prime Minister carrying his weapon in a place where the President or Prime Minister was not present. No - that would never have happened.

Bodyguards to State actors and visiting officials were provided by the Special Branch of the Sierra Leone Police headed by a competent and well-trained officer who knew his weapons and his men trusted with such duties.

If Idrissa Hamid Kamara had to appear before a civilian commission of inquiry where the President or Prime minister or the duly assigned official would not be present two things would have been done.

He would have been replaced and freed for the day to give him time to focus on his assignment to appear before the Commission.

If it was necessary that he be on duty so he can return to State House later, then before leaving he would have had to hand over his weapon to a senior officer with the unit who will ensure that the make of the gun was government issue as well as bullets accounted for and duly signed in. Upon return, he would again sign for the weapon and the bullets.

Where a body guard was not on duty, all weapons are accounted for and signed-in for collection later at the start of the new day.

No bodyguard was allowed to roam freely and wildly with weapons. No one was allowed to hold a government issue like pistol and bullets without due and necessary authorisation.

But then in that beautiful law and order Sierra Leone, the likes of Idrissa Hamid Kamara would never have qualified for the Special Branch of the Sierra Leone Police.

Any wonder why these days, in the Ernest Koroma something-dom you hear of "protection officers" brandishing and actually firing weapons in places of entertainment just to show off!!!



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©Sierra Herald 2002