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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Foreign Office Lies on Opposition Chairman
By Sylvia O. Blyden
Jun 8, 2009, 12:24
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Dr. Julius Spencer, who is cited as having been a co-detainee alongside the current Sierra Leone Foreign Office Spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay, has past Saturday evening told Awareness Times that whilst he clearly recalled being detained with Bayraytay for Seditious Libel during the NPRC Government years, at no point in time did John Benjamin ever lead soldiers with Kalashnikov weapons to intimidate them at the CID Headquarters as was now being alleged by Sierra Leone's Foreign Office Spokesman. Bayraytay, in a perceived confirmation of the suspicions of those who tie in Zainab Bangura Foreign Office into the ploy to embarrass John Benjamin, last weekend published on the Patriotic Vanguard Online Newspaper, serious human rights allegations against the Opposition SLPP's Leader John Benjamin. Some were vague whilst some were specific like this one about Benjamin using soldiers with Kalashnikov weapons.

But according to Julius Spencer, "That is totally untrue. Did he really say that? I know Karefa Kargbo and Maada Bio once brought in to be detained with us at the CID some British-Chinese citizens whom were accused of plotting to overthrow the NPRC"

According to Julius Spencer, that was the only time he recalled large number of soldiers with weapons entering the CID compound when they were there as detainees.

"They brought the white men into the compound under heavily armed escort," Julius Spencer recounted but added that it was not specifically to intimidate the seditious libel detainees,".

According to Dr. Spencer, John Benjamin never even went to the CID the entire time that they were detained there. When queried if he was sure of this, Spencer responded slowly but firmly and confidently.

"Of course I am sure. I do not recall ever seeing John Benjamin at the CID when we were detained there. I have a very vivid memory of those days. I saw Karefa Kargbo and Maada Bio when they brought in the Chinese-British suspects but never did I see John Benjamin," Dr. Julius Spencer insisted adding that he could be quoted.

Mr. Bayraytay is the Sierra Leone Foreign Office Spokesman who also doubles as the Personal Assistant to Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura. One of his witnesses so cited is Julius Spencer who has now completely distanced himself from the Bayraytay allegations against John Benjamin. We are also trying to get in touch with the other persons who were detained around that time.

Meanwhile, John Benjamin has said the Foreign Office Spokesman's comments against him were an "unfortunate work of fiction".

According to Benjamin, Bayraytay's "well timed venomous lies" was a clear signal as to who could possibly be the group that was behind the filing of "those terrible lies against me to the US Government".

Awareness Times is meanwhile further investigating the Bayraytay allegations as published. We have already learnt that the said libelous article that Bayraytay and Spencer were detained for was published on October 13th 1993. When this date is compared to what Bayraytay is trying to present to his Readers, a clear pattern of deliberate lying emerges. This is because it is a fact that John Benjamin was sacked as the NPRC's Chief Secretary of State in early November 1992; virtually a whole year before the detention of Spencer, Bayraytay and others for Libel. So, contrary to what Bayraytay tries to assert in his article, John Benjamin was not the NPRC Chief Secretary of State by October 1993. Additionally, John Benjamin was neither Chief Secretary of State nor was he NPRC Secretary-General on 29th December 1992 when the infamous executions occured.

The "unfortunate" Bayraytay article itself is reproduced on Page 10 of today's edition. When compared to the facts, the motive behind the article written by APC Govt Foreign Office Spokesman speaks for itself.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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