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Sierra Leone: Police slams travel ban on ex-government officials

All former Sierra Leone government officials who are implicated in the damning Government Transition Team (GTT) report have been ordered to surrender their traveling documents as the police announced a heightened security at the country’s borders.A statement from the office of the Inspector General of Police on Thursday ordered all personnel in the key border crossing points in the country, including the airport, to ensure that no one mentioned in the report leave the country. It said all such people must seek clearance with the Minister of Justice.

The directive follows the release of the GTT report which alleged rampant corruption in the administration of former President Ernest Bai Koroma, which was accused of presiding over a tribal and regionally bias government which plundered the country’s economy by awarding inflated contract to political cronies.

The report’s authors recommended, among others, that a judge-led Commission of Enquiry be set up to investigate those mentioned in its findings and that such people shouldn’t be allowed to leave the
country without clearance.

The IGP, in the statement, told all commanders and heads of departments stationed in all border points that the police has a crucial role in ensuring that those wanted answer to the allegations
they face.

“In the light of the above, no former government functionaries, including former ministers, deputies, heads of departments and agencies, should be allowed to travel out of the country either by
land, sea or air without the authorization of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,” it said.

It added: “Former government functionaries in country are required to surrender their travel documents (passports – dual or otherwise), to the head of the Criminal Investigations Department with immediate effect.” It warned those who fail to do so face arrest and detention.

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