By Alpha Kamara
The government sacked the police and army chiefs Thursday following several allegations that security forces were being biased in favor of the ruling party ahead of the 2018 elections.
The State House, however, did not specify any reason for the sackings in its press release. It only said the two officials would now hold posts outside the country.
Former police Inspector General Grancis Allieu Munu was posted as ambassador to Liberia while former Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. J. E. Milton would go to Nigeria as the country’s deputy high commissioner, the release said.
Richard Moigbeh was named as the new police chief while Maj. Gen. Brima Sesay would be taking over as the army’s chief of staff, it added.
Earlier this month, a series of accusations were made against the police for siding with the ruling government against the opposition following the arrest of opposition spokesman Lawrence Leema.
Civil society and governance groups had in the recent past raised concerns about security forces taking sides in party politics.
“We are concerned that during the just concluded ruling party’s convention in Makeni, we saw security forces in uniforms jubilating. Some put on party colors. This is not good for national security and the rule of law,” Valnora Edwin, head of campaign for good governance, told local Star radio in Freetown recently.
Last month, the country’s two main political parties -- the ruling All People’s Congress and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party -- signed a memorandum of understanding with police in an effort to sustain peace ahead of the March 2018 elections.