Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Alhaji Amadu Bah, widely known as King Boss LAJ, a prominent figure in Sierra Leone’s music scene, has pledged to become a beacon of peace in the country, following his release from prison under a presidential pardon.
Amidst jubilation at the Pademba Road prison gates, supporters and fellow musicians welcomed the famous rapper, expressing elation over his freedom. “Base Aphonix,” another well-known musician, celebrated LAJ’s release and urged emerging artists to use their talents for fostering peace, emphasizing the avoidance of violence.
LAJ, who was serving a nine-year sentence for robbery with aggravation and assault, expressed gratitude to President Bio and the First Lady for the chance to reunite with his family. He commended the professionalism of prison officers and urged unity and collective effort towards national development. “I vow not to engage in any trouble again, and I wish to see nobody in distress,” he affirmed.
Reflecting on his time behind bars, LAJ shared plans to leverage his experience to promote harmonious coexistence in Sierra Leone. He assured the public that his freedom would contribute to a better nation.
Minister of Information and Civil Education, Chernor Bah, highlighted President Bio’s power to pardon prisoners exhibiting exemplary citizenship and conduct during their incarceration. “President Bio pardoned LAJ not for his stardom but for demonstrating exemplary behaviour in prison,” Bah emphasized.
Elaborating further, Minister Bah recounted LAJ’s anti-“Kush” campaign within the prison walls and lauded his surrender to authorities following the failed coup in November 2023 as commendable acts of citizenship.
As LAJ steps back into freedom, he is poised to release a new song titled “Peace.”
The Director-General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Services (SLCS), Lt. Col. Sheik Sulaiman Massaquoi, announced the pardon of 352 convicted prisoners nationwide, citing overcrowding as a significant challenge. He emphasized the need for relocating the prison, originally built for 300 inmates but currently housing over 2,000.
Encouraging youth to shun crime and embrace peace, Massaquoi revealed that 99% of those pardoned were young individuals, highlighting the imperative of steering clear of unlawful activities to avoid imprisonment.
LAJ’s return to society, with a commitment to advocate for peace, marks a pivotal moment not only for the musician but also for Sierra Leone’s pursuit of harmony and progress. SKS/2/1/2024