Sierra Leone-Police-Suspension

Sierra Leone: Controversial female police officer suspended

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

The independence of the Sierra Leone Police is once again under scrutiny after it confirmed the suspension of a controversial senior police amidst allegations of political reprisal.

Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Maimuna Conteh-Jalloh, is being investigated on suspicion of various offences allegedly committed between 2017 and 2019, a police spokesman said on Tuesday, ending days of speculation on social media sparked by a leaked document shared via social media.

News about the suspension of AIG Maimuna, as the controversial female officer is popularly known, spread over the weekend after an internal memo leaked via social media, originating from the Director of Professional Standards and Religious Affairs at Police Headquarters, notifying her of her suspension. It cited about nine offenses for which she is being investigated.

They include disobedience of lawful order given by a superior, communicating with unauthorized persons on matters connecting with the force, and failing to comply with a standing order issued by the Inspector General of Police. She is also being investigated for perversion of justice.

The statement said the suspension was meant to facilitate an “impartial and timely investigation” of her alleged offenses. AIG Maimuna, according to the document, is being investigated at both
the Criminal Investigation Department and the internal police investigating outfit – CDIID.

Analysts say she could face dismissal from the force if found guilty for any of the offenses. The female officer became popular for her no-nonsense stance against crime and lawlessness between 2012 and 2018. But she was also accused of violating the laws and police regulations in carrying out her duty.

This way she was hated by particularly supporters of the then opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (now in governance), who felt that she was biased towards then All Peoples Congress (APC)-led government.

Many believe she had the support of the former government at the time which paid a blind eye to her actions. That is also the basis for allegations by some supporters of the APC, now in opposition, that she may have been a victim of political reprisal.

Supt Brima Kamara, Director of Media and Public Relations at the Sierra Leone Police, dismissed such insinuations in a radio interview. He told the Freetown-based Radio Democracy that the suspension of the officer was in line with the relevant laws of the country and was necessary to ensure a swift investigation process and to avoid any claim of prejudice.


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