Whilst debating the amended National Drug Act 2008 yesterday, some Members of Parliament requested that the foreign nationals held in custody for the cocaine saga be extradited.
First it was Hon Frank Kposowa of SLPP whilst calling for a speedy trial of the suspects, suggested to government the extradition of the foreign nationals. He said what act is alleged to have been committed by the suspects was an outrage on the sovereignty of the country and “terrorism at any level.”
Mr Kposowa further commented that the continued holding of these nationals in custody will serve as a security threat to the country and Sierra Leone should make them serve their sentences in their respective countries.
“We have seen what people in that category do when their membership is held in prison and how they have gone all out to get what they want just for their release at any time,” he said, “and our prison facility cannot hold them”
Perhaps what thrilled the debate or garnered support from other MPs was when Hon Chief Bai Kurr Kanagbaro spoke. He started off by saying that it makes Paramount Chiefs very happy when important bills are taken to parliament and have nonpartisan support. The Chief said when he and others traveled out immediately following the cocaine bust-up, they were molested and subjected to so many checks and embarrassment at Heathrow Airport. The MPs broke into hysteria during the chief’s next statement: “I think Sierra Leone is not in the position to handle these people (foreign cocaine suspects). If we are to advise ourselves we should have called the United Nations, including the major world powers because these are THEIR boys and they are taking the cocaine to them – to their children.
Here is just a transit point and we do not have that kind of money when the whole budget of the country for six months is just what they brought in a small plane. I think the government should look in to this seriously and hand them over as we are spending unnecessary money to protect Pademba prison and the traffic to that end is getting congested as the road is no more used just because of the presence of these people.”
Continuing, the chief gave an example of the master thief and drug baron in America, Bernard Shaw, who was caught and detained at the maximum prison at Marion offshore Illinois, where a helicopter went and freed him. “Why can’t we hand them over to the special court for protective custody until they are taken to their respective countries so that if they escape, our police will not be blamed for conniving?” Chief Kanagbaro added. “Let us hand them to the special court; let them protect them as they are their boys and children.” The whole House tapped their tables in support of his comments until he concluded his contribution. Hon Emmanuel Tommy commented that whenever the cocaine suspects attend courts, the traffic congestion is a complete mess, costing the city time and money.The Internal Affairs Minister responded that handing over the non Sierra Leonean suspects was very important which needed an examination by all.