The Inspector General of Police Brima Acha Kamara stunned SLAJ executives yesterday in his office
when he produced a letter indicating that he had “refused” the permission sought by SLAJ to process peacefully and deliver letters to the Presidency, Parliament and the Ombudsman.
What was even more shocking was when the Inspector General was asked for his reason for the refusal and he replied “it is my discretion” asking “am I obliged to give reason No! It is my discretion go and find other means.”
Pressed further IG Acha Kamara said he would not allow journalists “to put undue pressure on the judiciary”. Questioned whether it was because of security concerns, the IG said he was totally against marching through the streets in a group or “processing.” He could not be drawn on the issue that he was denying “a basic democratic right – the right to peaceful protest”.
Awoko pointed out to the IG that he had several times at press conferences vented out his frustration with the judiciary for releasing hardened criminals quickly on bail or giving them lighter sentences, to which he agreed and added that even “a few days ago they (judiciary) just released four hardened criminals.” Yet he could not agree that the SLAJ action would help remedy that situation.
The question is did the IG consider that he was putting “undue pressure” on the judiciary by publicly criticising them (judiciary)?
SLAJ President Umaru Fofanah said “it is a sad day.”