Sierra Leone’s former minister of Transport and Aviation and opposition APC party key figure Alhaji Kemoh Sesay has been jailed for insulting President Julius Maada Bio. The action comes after Sesay spoke to a crowd of supporters in his hometown of Port Loko opposing the president on several issues. According to a tweet from the Sierra Leone Judiciary, the Principal magistrate remanded Kemoh Sesay former Transport and Aviation Minister in Freetown. He was before the court to answer to 1 count of cyberstalking and bullying contrary to the cyber security and crime act of 2021.
Kemoh Sesay who is battling stroke and partial paralysis was shown on video being helped by friends and relatives into the police criminal investigations department in Freetown.
Prior to his arrest, Sesay was shown on video addressing some opposition party supporters about his party’s campaign strategy. In the speech, he also said President Julius Maada Bio is a thief, an ex-coup leader, a criminal, a killer who has killed dozens of citizens in several parts of the country. As a result, he said, President Bio should be kicked out of power in the next election as his supporters cheered him.
Sesay is the second person in recent times to be reprimanded for insulting and cyberbullying president Bio under the new cyber security and crime act. A mentally retarded man was also remanded a few days ago for allegedly insulting the president under the cyber act.
Meanwhile, supporters of the sick opposition leader have been expressing concern over his detention as the matter comes up on Monday, May 9th, 2022. Dr. Sylvia Blyden of the opposition APC party who was also jailed last year for alleged cyber crimes, described Sesay as an intelligent statesman. She also talked about the US human rights report on Sierra Leone and the current president which rates the government poorly on human rights abuses and violations. She said Sierra Leone’s judiciary is very poor in handling bail for even bailable offences. She said Sesay’s offence is a bailable one, but it looks like some government officials want to satisfy themselves by locking him up.
Opposition parties and activists have been putting pressure on the government lately on issues of injustice, human rights and corruption reported in various sectors of government. That has not gone down well will most ruling party members including the president.