Leone Stars Player Accuses SLPP Deputy Minister, Lawrence Leema of Slapping And Assaulting Him

Allegation of assault has been made against the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Lahai Lawrence Leema, by one Leone Stars’ player, John Kamara, a midfielder in the national team that has qualified and taken the nation to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon in 2022.

According to John Kamara, he was slapped and hit on his chest last week at the Immigration Department Headquarters at Gloucester Street, where they coincidentally met at the stair steps within the offices of the department. He said he was assaulted by the minister because the latter accused him of not giving way to him while he was on his way trying to get into the offices of the department.

The minister shouted at the John Kamara, attack him even when according to Kamara, he did not even know the minister by then, except one of his bodyguards who beckoned to him to give way.

As he was trying to give way, the minister had approached and did slap him, asking him whether he was sent to attack him, before the minster also let him again on his chest.

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According to Kamara, ever since the incident, he had been feeling his chest and body pain as a result of the assault and would want justice to take its course, describing the incident as unfortunate.

Such an ugly development should not be condoned and cannot be left lying low as it is presently being treated.

Since last week Thursday when Kamara started raising alarm and informing the media about the unfortunate assault calling for justice, nothing seemed to have happened in that regard. We have not heard a word from the Deputy of Internal Affairs to Set the records straight or give his side of the incident, even with several efforts made by some journalists to reach him.

Furthermore, the government authorities and institutions and bodies such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Sports Authorities (ANS) and the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) ought to have issued a statement or release to clear the air regarding the matter but that is yet to happen. An inquiry or investigation into the matter should have been mounted by SLFA or NSA to get to the bottom of the matter and let the truth be known or told, because it is only the truth that can set us free. Nothing but the truth!

Why is Lawarence Leema not talking? Is he guilty of the allegations made by the poor boy? While the nation waits to see that the appropriate authorities having direct stake in this matter try to unearth what inspired between the deputy minister and the poor boy, we would like to register our concern and state that all human beings are born and equal in dignity and rights; hence the human rights of one another must be respected. Furthermore, no one is fit to be a master and above the law, and no one deserves to be a slave or a boxing tool that can just be slapped and hit anyhow without due regard and without investigations or inquiries where the need be, as it is in this matter between our national team player and the deputy internal minister.

The case of John Kamara must be thoroughly investigated. The nation deserves to know why the national team player was assaulted and molested by Lawrence Leema, as alleged.

This nation called Sierra Leone must put a stop to attitudes, manners and behaviours that are not cricket; especially dishonourable character from those in position of trust, expected to be honourable, moral and role models.

This issue is no small matter that one would say is just about making a mountain out of a molechill; the deputy minister has also had an issue with a civilian – a youth – sometime back that involved shooting and fatal injury of the said youth, who, despite the injuries he sustained in the incident is presently languishing in jail. Nothing more is being heard or said about that matter, as all has been swept under the carpet.

This time around we want just to take its course. Lawrence Leema must speak out to clear the allegations of assault against his person.

We are not trying to bring hastily to court what we have heard that transpired between the deputy minister and the national player, but if such an incident turned out to be true as alleged, such a dastardly behavour would further dent not only the image of Lawrence Leema our deputy internal minister, but also the image of the Bio-led government and Sierra Leone. Therefore, President Bio and the Ministry of Internal Affairs must be seen to be taking apt actions in such matters.

During the days of former President Koroma, the nation witnessed how the former president disciplined security officers by calling for their detention when the mistreated civilians apparently for his sake as the President. Koroma issued a statement, saying let no one – no security officer – fight for him as a person. Is President Bio going to set similar standards? We are yet to see.

Whatever the situation, if the allegation leveled against the deputy minister by the National team player came out to be true, the human right record of the Bio-led government would continue to slide further by a chunk as the President sits by and allows impunity reign in his administration involving his government officials and state security apparatus.

The truth of the matter between Lahai Lawrence Leema and John Kamara must see the light of day for the current administration to be seen as upholding the human rights of people in this country, enshrined and stipulated by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

Forum newspaper does not posses the truth more than the people do. The truth is what unite us in Suffering and in joy.

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