Jarrah Kawusu-Konte’s arrest places Sierra Leone Police and State in legal quagmire


It has come to the attention of this media that Mr. Jarrah Kawusu Konte, a former State House Director of Communications’ was dragged into the CID yesterday, Monday 4th June, 2018 for an alleged crime relating to Economic Sabotage (ES).

Economic sabotage is defined as the practice of destroying the economy of a nation. In context, economic sabotage is used as a weapon to undermine the stability of a country’s economy, by increasing prices of commodities mainly in high demand, swelling interest rates on international debts and other imparative components to an economy.

One could argue that recent attempt to increase fuel prices, for instance, without the approval of the Sierra Leone government amounts to ES. *FACT


As for Jarrah’s *alleged* involvement, however, he was invited by the CID for sharing a controversial letter on *Cyber Space*, relating to the potential of bringing the Financial Acts, which is the statutory brain box of the Sierra Leone’s economy into disrepute. *MYTH .

On the contrary, the circulation of the letter, was, in fact, of public interest. It captures the attention of president Bio who instantaneously reacted in averting what could have been very catastrophic for Sierra Leoneans. *FACT

According to Superintendent Augustine Mansaray, in charge of the Economic Crime Management (ECM), however, the report was made to the CID by the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance for the publication of a “confidential document,” which police is currently investigating as sabotage to the government’s efforts in the mobilisation of domestic revenues. *ANOTHER MYTH.

Now, could it be a *breach of privacy?* Privacy, in how one’s define and protect it in an age of abundant information sharing is taking a very murky position in our mundane national debate, in law schools and even in the court rooms. We lived in an internet driven and a mobile device world. A world where consumer profiling, pervasive surveillance, big data information systems and biometrics, couple with ethos of sharing, and even the untenable attempt to identify the original source of information in circulation on social media have deeply anchored cyber law into an epic of a dark court room.

In law, however, *the rights to privacy is of little or no importance, so far the publication of a matter is of public interest, and by extension it is of public protection.* The work of a renowned American Sociologist, George Mendes is worthy to be examined, as he succinctly juxtaposed the “Public/Private Distinction.” For example, *the law makes no room for the protection of the privacy of an Ebola Virus carrier at the detriment of infecting an entire nation.* Both morally and legally, public interest have been given a primacy here because the circulated letter was not only a breach of an expressed provision in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, but has already been actioned by the relevant agencies within the financial makeup of the State without recourse to the law, and with the potential to animate huge implications to cause an artificial ressession in the country and beyond our boarders.

Therefore, it is legally befitting that charges of *ES* be brought only against the author, as opposed to a citizen who played a remedial role. We made this affirmation because the author, Mr. Dennis Sandi has alone, openly accepted responsibility of crave mistakes, and thus, apologised to the President and the people of this country. Besides, nothing in the letter indicates the phrase: ‘ *Strictly Confidential,* as it is the usual manner which certain government documents are classified or prohibited from publication. Thus, invalidated, both the complain brought to the police by the Financial Secretary and the argument of “breach of confidentiality” in submission by the investigative officer, Superintendent Augustine Manasaray as a *MYTH* in totality.

Another question is: *who is monitoring the current monitor of social media in SL, and under what jurisdiction is this surveillance operated under the government of president Bio?*

Jurisdiction here, we mean the legal authority granted by either the Financial Secretary (referred here as the complainant) or the police to investigate Jarrah or anybody within SL on cyber related crimes, and for purposes of onward adjudication in a competent Civil or Criminal court of law. If there is any, could this jurisdiction be: 1) Prescriptive/Legislative; 2) Enforcement; and 3) Adjudicative/Judicial?

To better put, this media want to establish whether the Financial Secretary, the Sierra Leone police or the Court has any jurisdiction on cyber related matters, especially upon a document that has gone viral? Why has the author of the said letter who is by law, culpable for crimes of: insubordinating the highest office in the land, ES, and other related charges not brought to book, if and only if, the aim is to dispense justice?

*Is there any strong correlation between sharing of the said letter and the contextual meaning of ES, as explicated above?*

Unfortunately, it turns out that there is no legal basis for inviting Jarrah to the CID for cyber related crimes in the first place. That is to say, up to today, Tuesday 5th June, in the year of our Lord 2018, there is no iota of jurisdiction on Cyber Crime (CC) in the entire statutory instruments of Sierra Leone.

So, unless that the laws of the land allowed improvisations on issues relating to cyber space, or the Sierra Leone police have been summerily drawn into an uncomfortable legal quagmire, as usually the case, but in this occasion, to please president Bio and his Chief Minister.

Whatever the case may be, this media firmly believe that Jarrah’s investigation by the police suffers seriously from a lack of general judicial purpose and particularity. Thus rendering this matter before the Sierra Leone police a deadend; but alone brought forward to further the crusade of political clampdown poised to silence the main opposition party, the APC. Any attempt to cosmetically animate a case against Jarrah will be consumed by the shadows of a legal quagmire of labyrinth proportion.



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