It’s Time For The Needful

It’s fifty days since the Sierra Leone Police declared me wanted and placed a price of five million leones for any information leading to my arrest.

And I, for obvious reasons, decided to stay aloof thus engendering speculations ranging from me being in hiding to that of having sought political asylum and acting cowardly.

The incident which occurred on Friday May 31, 2019, at the APC party office in Freetown is a continuum of this SLPP government’s blatant violation of the right to human dignity of members of the APC as enshrined, sanctioned and guaranteed by the 1991 constitution and other international statutes and conventions.

On Saturday June 1, 2019, five trucks of over fifty heavily armed Police officers went to my Waterloo residence in an attempt to arrest me. Their mood was terrorizing as much as it was antagonizing, threatening to shoot and kill on sight anybody who dares to enter or leave my residence. The rest of my family were prevented access to the house for thirteen days.

Thank God I had left for upcountry the previous night. Over fifty armed Police officers to arrest me alone! Imagine what may have happened to me if they had met me home.

On Monday June 3, 219, in just 72hours after the Friday incident, Police AIG Brima Jah at a news conference told journalists that I have been declared wanted with a price tag of five million leones for any information leading to my arrest.

I considered this action from the Police not just intimidating but a violation of my right to human dignity as it intends to tarnish and diminish, as much as it is injurious to, my self worth, self respect and self esteem and my physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.

Before going forward, there are questions that need answers:

Did I escape from lawful custody? No.
Was I invited by the Police for questioning and failed to show up? No.
Did I escape from the Police when they went to my Waterloo residence to arrest me? No.
Did I commit an economic fraud, treason or engaged myself in acts of terrorism? No.
Was any other officer of the party equally hounded? No.
Why should the Police declare me wanted and with a price tag as if I am a common criminal?
Should the Police require me, wouldn’t a letter of invitation suffice?

It is then obvious that the action of the Police is in clear violation of my right to human dignity and particularly selective, intimidating and malicious.

Many people prevailed on me to give myself up to the Police, as if I am a common criminal. Some said I would only be detained for a few days and then released on bail. Others said I would be sent to Pademba road, which graduates me as a seasoned politician.

I remained neither scared nor intimidated; insisting that I will not compromise a violation of my right to human dignity and that the Police should rescind the politically motivated public declaration that I am wanted with a price tag of five million leones for any information leading to my arrest.

I have remained defiant in refusing to compromise my right to human dignity.
The leadership of my party questioned the rationale of the Police but I choose not to agree with them that I should give up myself to the Police and have stayed aloof.
I am grateful that the party has left no stone unturned in prevailing on the Police to do the needful.

The National Secretary General has not just engaged the leadership of the Police but has also brought the matter to the full attention of the Political Parties Registration Commission, the Independent Police Complaints Board, the UN and other partners. It was also one of the issues discussed when VP Juldeh Jalloh met with our National Chairman and Leader, former president Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and is part of the agenda for his proposed meeting with President Bio.

Notwithstanding all of these efforts, except the Police is been remote controlled, it is time for the needful.

AIG Brima Jah at a news conference told journalists that I have been declared wanted with a price tag of five million leones for any information leading to my arrest; a search warrant from the LUC at Waterloo stated subversion as the charge against me; the IGP in a letter to the National Secretary General accused me of ‘abusing the President’ and as a matter of interest the IGP only knew about me been declared wanted via social media while there is no official warrant for me at the CID as would be expected of someone who has been declared wanted.

The lack of concord from the Police regarding the case against me uncovers a frightening conspiracy and that something somewhere is amiss thus questioning the sanctity of according me equal protection under the law.

I am breaking silence in response to the comments made by both friends and foes on my birthday.

I am hale and hearty and enjoying a well deserved break from the hassles of politics. I have never walked into any foreign mission requesting asylum; I am not in hiding but would prefer to continue aloof until the needful is done.

And for those who think I acted cowardly, I have always acted appropriately and at the appropriate time.

But if you think acting in defense of my right to human dignity and my cautionary approach in dealing with a Police that cannot guarantee me the protection of my fundamental right and is been used to intimidate me is being a coward, then cowards won’t die an untimely death.

The needful thing to do now is for the Police to go public again and tell the whole world that I am not a wanted person and free to go about my normal business.

Cornelius Deveaux
Monday July 22, 2019.