Prominent Sierra Leonean journalist and TV host, Samuel Wise Bangura, has released a statement addressing allegations of fraud and his departure from the Africa Young Voices (AYV) television.

In a statement on Saturday, he refuted all allegations against him, describing them as wanton claims and efforts at calumny directed at [his] person.”

This statement marks Bangura’s first public response since a video allegedly showcasing his participation in money-doubling activities appeared on social media on August 8. Before this, Bangura had reported being a victim of a robbery, asserting he lost $7,000, an iPhone 14 Pro Max, and other items. However, various accounts from social media and other outlets hinted at possible dubious actions on Bangura’s part. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), noted that when questioned, Bangura dismissed the video’s insinuations and disclosed he was investigating the money-doubling matter.

After an investigation conducted by the Africa Young Voices (AYV) television, the company said Bangura’s actions were at variance with their Editorial Policy on Investigative Journalism; Conflict of Interest contrary to the AYV’s Public Engagement, Coverage, and Production (CAP) Policy and this may bring the institution into disrepute. Following this, AYV announced that they have mutually agreed to sever ties with both Bangura and Mr. Lawrence J. Light, who also appeared in the controversial video.

Bangura, clarifying rumors about his dismissal, stated in his recent release that he had resigned from AYV, but emphasized that this doesn’t mark the end of his journalistic journey.

“I wish to register my deepest regrets to those who believe in me for putting them through the hassle of speculation, suspicions, conjectures and misrepresentation. If there is anything to take away from this sad episode, it is that my resilience has been reinvigorated in my pursuits as a journalist of high intellect and repute.

“I’m taking this moment to thank my family who have been dragged into this and persecuted, my friends, my colleagues and the many people who have sent me messages of support during this difficult time.

“My promise to you Sierra Leone, is that I stand resolute in the face of challenges, circumspect in my pursuits, and unbowed in the heat of evaluation. I shall remain credible, factual, and beyond reproach.

“The story shall be told…,” He concluded.