SIERRA LEONE POLICE MEDIA TEAM REACTS TO THE PREMIER NEWS FRONT PAGE HEADLINE TITLED: POLICE RAID BIO’S HOME
The writer of this piece erroneously stated that the Sierra Leone Police RAIDED THE RESIDENCE of Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and that the POLICE HAVE REFUSED TO COMMENT ON THE PURPOSE OF THE RAID.
The media team of the Sierra Leone Police wishes it to be known that the article is factually deficient, and as such, very misleading. The writer, for whatever reason(s), failed to uphold one of the basic tenets of fair reporting, which is accuracy.
The claim made by the writer that Mr Bio’s home/residence was raided is far from the truth. The SLP is on record to have informed the public that Criminal Investigations Department (CID) personnel went to execute a search warrant on an unfinished structure, at Majay Town Junction, Goderich, in Freetown; following intelligence report that was considered to have the potential to undermine the peaceful conduct and credibility of the elections. It was therefore never the residence or home of Mr Bio, as the writer would want the public to believe.
The police were even surprised to see Mr Bio emerge from that unfinished structure whilst they were there to execute their lawful duty. The CID personnel nevertheless accorded him the usual friendly courtesies and then explained to him their mission and also showed him the search warrant. What was shocking, was that, in spite of the courtesy extended to Mr Bio and the police following the prescribed procedure, he still directed that the detectives be thrown out of the compound.
The SLP Media Team, therefore, wishes to make it abundantly clear that Mr Bio’s home was not raided; except if the writer of the piece wanted the public to believe that Mr Bio had since relocated to that unfinished structure, which was the subject of activities that were suspected to be inimical to the peaceful conduct and credibility of the March 7 elections.
Secondly, the writer stated that the POLICE HAVE REFUSED TO COMMENT ON THE PURPOSE OF THE RAID. This is deceptive and simply not true. For the records, let it be known that on the day of the incident, the SLP’s Head of Media gave extensive interviews to radio stations on the issue, taking time to explain the reason behind the police’s presence at the aforementioned unfinished structure on that day. And on the following day, the Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, who incidentally was at the scene, was also on SLBC TV’s widely viewed “Good Morning Salone” programme. He took time to effectively throw light on all the issues surrounding the intended search at the unfinished structure, inclusive of what necessitated the presence of the police at the said location, on the 7th March.
As if the SLP knew that certain people, for whatever reason(s) would seek to skew and/or distort the information to fit their interests, a Press Statement, which, in simple terms, clearly explained every bit of what happened and how it happened on that day, was dispatched for public knowledge. The press statement is widely in circulation on social media as well as conventional media outlets.