The Inspector General of Police (IGP), William Fayai Sellu, has issued an immediate suspension order for Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Philip Amara of the Internal Benefit Human Resource Department at Police Headquarters.

This action comes in response to ASP Philip Amara’s involvement in extensive corrupt activities during the recruitment process of 1,074 Police Recruits currently undergoing paramilitary training at the Police Academy Hastings.

According to credible sources from the Police Headquarters at George Street, Freetown, ASP Philip Amara was suspended on Thursday, May 11, 2023. His suspension resulted from his participation in extorting Le 5 million from over 132 police recruits, with the promise of fraudulent inclusion in the final list of Sierra Leone Police recruitment for 2023.

This illicit inclusion allowed them to bypass the standard police recruitment procedures such as public exams, interviews, medical examinations, and fingerprinting at the Criminal Investigation Department.

As a consequence of this corruption, the 132 police recruits were expelled from the Police Academy at Hastings after being exposed to weapon training for almost a month.

This scandal has caused significant international embarrassment for both the Police and the State of Sierra Leone.

It undermines the efforts made by the Commonwealth, DFID, EU, UN, Canada, Sweden, and numerous local and international organizations that have invested time and resources into restructuring the Sierra Leone Police.

This incident represents a blatant violation of the constitutionally established police recruitment policy.

According to reports ASP Philip Amara has been operating a syndicate in collaboration with Mariama Lebie, a female police officer. In 2022, Mariama Lebie collected hundreds of millions of Leones from over 200 police applicants.

However, these applicants were unable to secure a place on the final list that was sent to the Police Training School at PTS. Subsequently, the applicants reported the matter to the Police Headquarters and demanded a refund of their payments made to Mariama Lebbie, who acted on behalf of ASP Philip Amara and other high-ranking government officials at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In response to these complaints, the Police Headquarters initiated an investigation, which ultimately found Mariama Lebie guilty. She was subsequently dismissed from the Police and charged in court. Mariama Lebie was incarcerated but later granted bail pending further legal proceedings.