Sierra Leone’s rigging allegation against Mahama: Majority demands probe

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The Majority members in the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament are demanding an immediate probe into allegations Ghana’s ex-president John Mahama is leading and executing an international conspiracy to rig Sierra Leone’s election in favour of the opposition leader Julius Maada Bio.

Chairman of the Committee Frank Annoh Dompreh insists the allegations by no mean a person but the Deputy Information Minister of Sierra Leone may have dire repercussion on relations between the two countries if it is not investigated.

He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Top Story, Wednesday, the allegation which is gaining traction in the West African country could spark potential conflict.

He has therefore charged Ghana’s national security to investigate the matter with all the seriousness it deserves.

Background

Ghana’s ex-president John Mahama was part of the Commonwealth Observer Mission that supervised Sierra Leone’s crunch election run-off on March 31, 2018.

Incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma is ineligible to contest having exhausted his two terms in office. But Samura Kamura, the country’s Foreign Minister is in contention for a third term APC victory. Between him and victory is the opposition leader Julius Maada Bio.

The first round of the election held on March 7, 2018, was deadlocked with both the incumbent All People’s Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP) failing to garner the 55% of the vote required to win the first round.

Days after the run-off election, the country’s Electoral Commission is yet to announce the winner but the Deputy Information Minister is alleging Ghana’s ex-president and the British High Commissioner are leading an international conspiracy to rig the election.

Speaking on the state broadcaster, SLBC Cornelius Deveaux, singled out Ghana’s ex-president as the man executing the conspiracy.

According to him, the brother of Ghana’s ex-president Ibrahim Mahama is also part of the plot, bankrolling the campaign of the opposition leader.

He also accused Mr Mahama of abandoning his post even when counting had not been concluded.

Evidence?

A journalist in Sierra Leone, Eric Kawa told Joy News the Deputy Information is yet to provide any evidence to back his allegation.

He said a lot of people have been reacting to the allegation with many condemning it.

But Mr Mahama has vehemently denied the allegation. In a statement, he said “I have no interest in who governs Sierra Leone.”

He explained his core job as part of the observer mission was to “maintain peace and consolidate democracy in Sierra Leone.”

He found it worrying he would be accused of interfering in the results of the election. He insisted the allegations are false.

Frank Annoh Dompreh

But Mr Annoh Dompreh insists there is more at stake than just denials.

He said given the traction the allegation appears to be getting, the country’s national security must investigate the matter.

“Is he the only one who been on the observation?” he asked, adding, “what will motivate a top official to single out Mahama for such an allegation.

“It cannot be mere politics; the image of our country is important,” he insisted.

“We need to do our own investigation and find out the veracity of the allegation. Mahama is an asset of Ghana; he is a former president; anything he does or say invariably affects our country,” he added.

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