The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) confirmed receipt of a letter from a group identifying as the “Disenfranchised Members of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party.” This group expressed intentions to protest against the APC’s executive members during an upcoming peace mediation meeting in Freetown.

In response to the letter, the police have issued a stern warning to any individual or group contemplating any disruptive actions around the meeting’s venue. Such disruptions, under the guise of protest, will be deemed a violation of the Public Order Amendment Act, 2020. Violators will face prompt and lawful action from the SLP.

The initial letter, widely circulated on social media, was penned by an alleged leader, Sahr Philip Mani. Interestingly, it did not bear a recognized address, and attempts by the police administration to contact Mr. Mani were unsuccessful. Internal investigations further revealed discrepancies in the signee’s details.

Given these uncertainties, the SLP clarified that no permissions have been granted for protests surrounding the proposed dialogue and mediation venue.

The SLP’s statement emphasized their commitment to ensuring a peaceful environment during the talks. Any attempt to breach this peace will result in the necessary and lawful measures to restore order.

The full press release reads: “The Sierra Leone Police is in receipt of a letter from a group calling itself “Disenfranchise Members of the All People’s Congress Party”. This group is requesting the Inspector General of Police to grant them ‘permission to protest against the de-facto All People’s Congress Executive during the Peace Mediation Meeting’. The letter, in question, is signed by one Sahr Philip Mani who claimed to be its leader, with cellphone number: 080681442.

“Management of the Sierra Leone Police is seized of the facts that the letter it received from the said group is also widely shared on social media; thus justifying the need for the Police administration to come out to the public and set the records straight, in respect of same.

“Suffice it to say that the letter which is dated 4th October, 2023, and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, bears no recognised address. All efforts have been made by the administration to contact the purported leader for a discussion and engagement on the said request, but all proved futile.

“The administration has further conducted internal inquiries by diligently doing a name-check of the signee but the name therein proved to be false; likewise, the number (080681442) was repeatedly called but none of the calls were picked.

“The Sierra Leone Police would therefore like to inform the general public that permission has not been granted to this purported group neither any other group to protest within the precinct of the venue of the proposed dialogue and mediation engagements.

“In this regard, anyone or group of individuals who attempt to disrupt the process by way of a disguised protest within and around the vicinity of the venue of the proposed mediation talks will be contravening the provisions of the Public Order Amendment Act, 2020; and that will definitely attract lawful and justifiable response from the Sierra Leone Police.”