From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
Minister Afsatu Kabba’s Husband & Sons Allowed to go Home
By Awareness Times
Feb 23, 2010, 18:18

Mr. Nfaji Kabba (snr), husband of Sierra Leone’s Fisheries Minister and his sons who were invited to the Anti Corruption Commission under Section 53(1) of the Anti Corruption Act of 2008 in the early hours of this morning, have returned home. Unlike the female Minister, they inform Awareness Times that they were not served Section 63(1) Notices which calls for them to produce sureties and hand over their passports.


Meanwhile, the hounding of Hon. Afsatu Kabba has brought back bitter memories of how the late Gloria Newman Smart was treated by the Anti Corruption Commission which led to her death in 2005.


It has been learnt that the Anti Corruption investigators were banging on the gates of the Minister’s house very loudly shouting out, “Anti Corruption! Open Up the Gate!! Anti Corruption!! Open Up the Gates!!” During this time, the armed policemen were stationed all over the neighbourhood where the Minister resides.


Many Sierra Leoneans who learnt of the early morning police-accompanied raid at the Minister’s residence have pondered aloud as to how Newman-Smart’s niece, Lawyer Glenna Thompson, currently the Head of Investigations at the ACC, could be presiding over such character-lynching.


Speaking to Awareness Times yesterday, one of the next door neighbours of the Minister stated that it was “quite scary”.


“I thought it was a coup or something. The ferocious manner in which the policemen and ACC officials stormed our neighbourhood this morning was scary. Quite scary,” the male neighbour stated.


“Afsatu Kabba is an innocent woman suffering from deliberate targeting of her by people with no scruples. This is a psychological warfare and someone must have to exercise oversight on the ACC officials. Why did they have to go to the Minister’s house with armed policemen if not to intimidate her family?” one Mr. Malik Caulker of the National Union of APC Students stated.


The Minister herself was reported to have already been at work preparing to take visiting World Bank officials to Tombo Fishing Jetties when the incident happened. Eye-witnesses state that she was visibly shocked at hearing the news and at one point, even shed tears. She however did not go to the ACC offices during the entire time her husband and sons were being interrogated.


The ACC’s Spokesman Ms. Glenna Souris told Awareness Times that she could not divulge details of the ongoing investigation as it would be contrary to Section 74 of the Anti Corruption Act of 2008 which makes it a crime for anyone to divulge anything about any investigation before it was authorised. When it was pointed out to her that the ACC and their police accomplices had already alerted the Minister’s Marjay Town neighbourhood that her husband and sons were collected and taken to the Anti Corruption Commission and so it was now public knowledge and needed a comment from the ACC, she still insisted that it would be ultra-vires the Anti Corruption Act to comment on the matter.


“We need to protect the reputations of people being investigated and until the Investigations Department authorises me to publicise any investigation, I will decline to comment on whether any such investigation is happening here,” the ACC's Glenis Sourie said.


When Awareness Times specifically asked if the ACC was saying that they do not want to sully the reputation of Honourable Afsatu Kabba, she once again declined to comment on the matter and would not even confirm if Afsatu Kabba was being investigated.


“I have to honour the Anti Corruption Rules so no comments,” Ms. Sourie confidently ended.


Truckload of Armed Police Officers Pick Up Afsatu Kabba's Husband & Sons in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Feb 23, 2010, 11:00

The ACC sent a truck load of police officers armed to their teeth to pick up Afsatu's husband and her four children from their residence this early morning. They were assured they were not under arrest but asked to go to the ACC.

Afsatu's husband got into his vehicle with his sons and drove off to the ACC. Immediately following was the ACC Van and the Police Truck. The ACC van had the ACC logo. So the neighbours watched as the ACC van and the Police Truck tailed the vehicle.

The convoy was very obvious and so Afsatu's husband after a few miles at Spur Road, stopped his vehicle and the Police Truck and ACC Van also stopped. He got out and went to the Officials and pointed out that if he was not under arrest as they claimed, why were they publicly tailing him? They sheepishly responded, "nothing Sir" but refused to move off.

It is important to note that ACC swooped in as soon as the Minister took off from the house this morning for her scheduled meeting to take the visiting World Bank team on tour of Tombo and other Fishing areas. Naturally, the devastated woman had to cut the tour and head back to town.

Her husband and four sons are being interrogated right now. I understand they are being questioned about what is called their mother's "unexplained wealth" and repeatedly assured that they are not under arrest. None of them have been served a Section 63(1) Notice as yet but who knows.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.