From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra leone, No Stoning Attack on ACC Tejan-Cole’s House
By Aruna Turay
May 13, 2010, 19:18

"A crowd of attackers flung stones and curses at the Kelly Drive home of ACC Commissioner Abdul Tejan-Cole on Monday night according to neighbors. They have asked for increased police presence around the area. Beatrice Kelly, a neighbor of 13 Kelly Drive (off Wilkinson Road) said the mob came to the house at about 7:30pm. Some wore red, others in green. They were shouting and singing that they were not happy with they way the ACC was treating Afsatu Kabba and said openly "they will kill him and his family before the matter comes to an end… Mohamed Massaquoi of Concord Times described the situation as unfortunate…"

The above sentences are culled from what could only be a ragsheet claiming to be a newspaper operating in Sierra Leone because the Independent Media Commission gave the operator(s) license to spread trash as news. It was found on page 2 of the paper’s edition that was supposed to be dated Wednesday 12th May 2010, but was stupidly dated Wednesday 12th May 2009, with its caption printed in bold letters, "DEMONSTRATORS STONE TEJAN COLE’S HOUSE" and which also carried a front page caption "RENT-A-MOB STORMS TEJAN-COLE’S KELLY DRIVE HOME! Threatens to kill former ACC Commissioner".0

Tejan-Cole’s residence located Off Wilkinson Rd. Inhabitants & neighbours yesterday denied reports!

99% of newspaper readers in Sierra Leone, rely on Awareness Times for accurate and trustworthy information which is why many persons asked us to investigate the claims. This newspaper does not usually pay attention to trash from sons of ‘certain kinds of women’ but in this case, because of the national sensitivity of the serious allegations and the enormous public interest, this reporter was dispatched to investigate the veracity of the published allegations. I can state upfront that at the end of my investigations, I concluded that this is just exactly an example of what my Boss Sylvia Blyden used to tell us about the reason why she opened the Awareness Times Newspaper five years ago: to stand against LIES!

First of all, Mr. Mohamed Massaquoi of Concord Times newspaper has in an interview with this medium yesterday night rubbished the inclusion of his name into the published trash.

"I have never said anything about Tejan-Cole and Afsatu Kabba let alone condemned a stoning attack that I know nothing about. This is bad for persons calling themselves journalists to be misquoting another journalist and I will ask to be distanced from it. I do not read that paper so I did not see what was published but if I had known, I would have handled it in a statement in Concord Times but please Awareness Times, quote me and inform the public that I never said anything to that tabloid against Afsatu Kabba or about Tejan-Cole’s residence being stoned," Mohamed Massaquoi asserted last night.

Earlier yesterday, this newspaper conducted an investigative tour and visited the home of the just resigned ACC Commissioner Abdul Tejan-Cole that was alleged by the ragsheet of being stoned on Monday night and discovered that there is no iota of truth in what was published in the trash claiming to be a newspaper.

First of all, the said address ‘Kelly Drive’, the so call neighbor in the name of ‘Beatrice Kelly, a neighbor of 13 Kelly Drive (off Wilkinson Road) whom the trash quoted as its source, are nothing but ghosts that have never existed anywhere close to the Ex-ACC Commissioner’s home environs where I spent a good four hours yesterday and speaking to various of Tejan-Cole’s neighbours. My investigations also proves that since the discovery of Freetown, there’s been no time that stoning had taken place on any house on the street hosting Ex-ACC Boss’s house.

The actual fact is that, the home of the EX-ACC Commissioner Abdul Tejan-Cole is not even located on Kelly Drive as the trash claimed and there is no 13 Kelly Drive off Wilkinson Road anywhere near that house neither does there exist any Beatrice Kelly of 13 Kelly Drive off Wilkinson Road near the residence of the former ACC Boss’ residence in Freetown nor has been any one moment that the Ex-ACC Commissioner’s home was stoned on Monday night as the author of the trash claimed. If there is a Kelly Drive, it is nowhere near the Off Wilkinson Road residence of Abdul Tejan-Cole.

In real sense, the Ex-ACC Commissioner’s house is indeed located Off Wilkinson Road but on Lower Byrne Lane and according to the house’s inhabitants and neighbours, it has never been attacked or stoned since it was built. Scores of neighbours of Tejan-Cole yesterday willingly volunteered to speak to Awareness Times. One such neighbor of the Ex- ACC Boss is a senior police officer, Inspector Sanpha Sen Mansaray who is the Stores Manager for the Sierra Leone Police.

Inspector Mansaray denied knowledge of stoning attacks in his entire area, not to even talk about stoning of the house of close neighbor Tejan-Cole.

"This is a big fat lie aimed at tarnishing my area. I am the most senior police officer in this area and if such thing happens, I will definitely be the first to be informed in this community. Above all, I am a close friend of the Tejan-Cole family. The mother Haja Fatmata Tejan-Cole is my Mosque member and we use to meet in prayers before her departure to Europe. Haja Fatmata commands a lot of respect in this area just like her son does so if anyone came here stoning, the entire area would have known and risen up," Inspector Mansaray commented, adding, "I am sure this has to do with some political manipulation or a paid up story aimed at tarnishing my community. This I take exception to; our entire neighbourhood takes exception to that story".

A visitor of Inspector Mansaray who witnessed the interview commented in Creole as such: "Nar dat make me nor dae buy all kind newspaper nar Salone, because most of them, especially this particular wan wey write dis story, nar so so lie lie". Translated in English to mean, "that is why I don’t buy all sort of Newspapers in Sierra Leone, because most of them, especially this one writing this story, are usually telling lies"

Also interviewed, was a youth who identified himself as Idrissa, the foster son of the Ex-ACC Commissioner’s family who lives in the house. He confirmed that was the residence occupied by Abdul Tejan-Cole until he left town a fortnight ago but according to Idrissa, he has lived with the Tejan-Cole family for years now and no attack on their home of such as claimed by the publication has ever befallen them.

"In fact on night of this Monday, I was sitting in our veranda until I felt sleepy and went to bed, nothing funny happened here. This publication is false" Idrissa commented when shown the newspaper article.

Another person, who witnessed the interview with Idrissa but preferred anonymity, added her voice by saying "this is a deliberate attempt to tarnish the good name of Afsatu Kabba but by Allah’s grace, they won’t succeed".

In a bid to further clarify false allegations made in the trash, this reporter further contacted both the Local Unit Commanders (LUC) for the Lumley and Congo Cross Police Divisions Chief Superintendent Alhaji Gibrill Kabba Kamara and Superintendent Ibrahim Jobe who also denied knowledge of any report of attack on the ACC Commissioner’s home to their Divisions. Between Kabba Kamara and Ibrahim Jobe, the entire stretch of Wilkinson Road is policed and if both of these fine police officers report that no such incident of stoning happened in their entire stretch of policed operational area, then readers of that tabloid trash sheet can make their conclusions.

"I am in charge of securing the area where Mr. Tejan-Cole, former ACC Commissioner’s home is situated and if any such occurrence happened, it will be reported to my Division" said LUC Jobe of Congo Cross Police Division, adding that the newspaper report is nothing but a false, malicious and cooked up story by the author.

Meanwhile, Publisher of this newspaper, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has told this reporter that she would not dignify, with a response, the insults being thrown at her person over our stated determination to question the excesses of ACC under Tejan-Cole.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.