Treason cases have a long history in our political system, but, thank God, President Bio has taken the initiative to make some critical changes. Mr Mohamed Kutubu Koroma wrote this historical fact.
History of Treason cases in our body politic.
By: Mohamed Kutubu Koroma
The problem I have with the APC party is that when in the opposition they tend to be an entity that believes in the rule of law, and respects constitutional liberties when in actuality those are far from the facts.
Just few months before the hotly contested March 1967 Olympic of general elections that changed the trajectory of governance in our country, ten army vice chief of staff Colonel John Amadu Bangura and other officers were accused of engaging in an enterprise calculatedly designed to usurp the executive authority of the state by force of arms.
They were rounded up and kept in the maximum prison Pademba Road in Freetown.
Siaka Stevens, the Sultan of Machiavellian politics and his agents of anger made big fuss out of the diabolical acts to the extent they went on fanning the embers of social unrests.
Fast forward, after the electoral fiasco, they were all released fron protective custody by the Juxon Smith nascent Military/police led administration.
Bangura was eventually dispatched to the embassy in Washington DC.
Siaka Stevens following his release from detention headed for Guinea at the invitation of president Ahmed Seoku Toure while Albert Margai following his release also headed for Ireland.
John Amdadu Bangura quietly slipped out of his post and headed for Guinea where with the permission of Ahmed Seoku Toure they set up a training camp with the purpose of invading the nation to seize power from the NRC by force of arms but for the swift interventions of Patrick Conteh and Emadu Rogers who organized the rank and file of the army that eventually toppled the regime, they almost invaded the country.
With civilian restored in April 1968,and Siaka Stevens as Prime Minister, the seeds of totalitarian madness took firm hold in the political firmament of the nation which prompted John Amadu Bangura as Chief of Army to launch a failed coup against his friend Siaka Stevens.
By a macabre fate of an ironic twist, John Amadu wrote a letter to siaka Stevens pleading for clemency.Stevns of course responded by assuring his friend that he has forgiving him as a friend only that the crimes he was convicted for will never forgive him and with that he signed his death warrant.
Needless to say John Amadu Bangura was physically manhandled before the rope was strapped around his neck and the life snuffed out of him.
to send message loud and clear to would be copycats, Stevens had the bodies of the executed prisoners displayed in public view outside the prison for all to see as warning to anyone who will be tempted to topple his reign of terror.
Stevens's last act of gross disregard for the sanctity of human dignity even in death manifested itself in when he had Bangura and others buried in unknown mass graves without relatives ever knowing where their remains were deposited.
The next case that I recalled during the reign of Stevens was that of Almamy Khazali that was actually a ritual resulting in murder.
Khazali who was from Port Loko was arrested in 1974 for carrying out ma ritual murder for the sake of power.
He was tried ,convicted, and like Brigadier John Bangura and others,executed.
The Mamy Yoko street gang,and Johnny Grant a Bus driver of the Wellington street murder fame took place under the leadership of Siaka Stevens and of course, all of the accused persons having gone through the crucibles of the judicial process were executed.
The tales of Mohamed Sorie Fornah and 14 others on fabricated accusations and unsupported charges resulting in the deaths of some of them up to this day lingers in the minds of Sierra Leoneans.
the only people who were very lucky not to face the executioners first, was a Gambian by the name of Lansana Kuruballay,in the iron rod beating to death of police officer Cyril Samuel Grant, who paid the ultimate price mwith mhis life for double crossing Lansana Kurubally in May 1966,while sleeping with his wife also sponsored his deportation on false charges.
Kuruballay was not executed but only jailed and eventually released.
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