One of the children of Sierra Leone’s former President, Ernest Bai Koroma, has been declared wanted by the country’s police in connection with the death of a journalist.
On Friday, 1 November 2019, reports in the local media indicated that Dankay Koroma, the second of two daughters of the former president, is being sought by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sierra Leone Police for her suspected involvement in the death of journalist, Ibrahim Samura.
Samura died in June 2018, about three months after he was reportedly beaten by a group of supporters and officials of her father’s party – the All People’s Congress (APC).
The incident happened on election day on 7 March 2018.
The APC was, at the time, seeking to retain power in the hotly contested poll that ended up going the way of its main rival, the Sierra Leone People’s Party.
Samura, a fearless human rights journalist, reportedly died from injuries he sustained on the skull, as a result of the beating, according to autopsy report.
Koroma was among about half a dozen people who were named as having ordered or taken part in his beating.
Among them is a former deputy minister of Transport and Aviation, Ibrahim Mansaray.
Last week, two of the suspects, including a former Mayor of Freetown, Herbert George Williams, made their second appearance in court after they were slammed with murder charges in connection to the incident earlier in October.
Williams, who is chairman of the APC in the Western Area (Freetown and its surroundings), was remanded at the maximum-security prison along Pademba Road in Freetown, alongside his co-accused, Abu Bacarr Daramy, a spokesman for the party in the same region.
An order from the CID, as reported by the media on Thursday, 31 October 2019, indicated that Koroma and three others had been extended an invitation by the CID to answer for their role in the incident.
The reports noted that the CID statement also ordered border security officials to arrest the four suspects if they attempted to flee the country.
However, sources say Koroma is not in the country.
The death of the journalist serves as a reminder of the danger media practitioners face in Sierra Leone.