On Page 164 of Volume 3A of the report of the Sierra Leone Truth & Reconciliation Commission, it was recounted of the private interview TRC conducted with SLPP’s presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio, that he had stated as follows:
“When I went there at night, he had actually tortured them very seriously – their ears were cut off and they were practically dead”. SAJ realised that by daybreak they had been really badly tortured in his compound; so he confronted the gruesome, “it was better to do away with them, than to keep them on his hands in this terrible state”. Maada Bio lamented their inability to put the coup plotters through proper judicial process, “that was the darkest side of our whole period in power”.
One of the numerous questions which Sierra Leoneans have been asking of Bio is: ‘What did Maada Bio do when he claims he unwittingly walked into the killing field at night where a pregnant woman was being tortured?’
Did he continue to watch until the killings finished or did he just walk away and went home to sleep? After the killings when he as Number 3 man in the junta (late Hindolo Trye was Information Minister) agreed to perpetuate a scam on the public by lying about coup plots and cross-fire killings when he, as an eye-witness to the brutal killings, knew there were no such incidents of cross-fire killings, did it ever cross his mind that he was guilty of a cover-up after the fact?’
Meanwhile, numerous other sources have since alleged that Bio not only witnessed the killings which actually occured at Lakka Beach and not at SAJ Musa’s residence but that he was at Lakka and personally took part in the killings. Bio’s refusal to answer these questions has continued to dog his candidacy.
Aside the numerous human rights abuses committed generally by the NPRC military junta, it is a fact that during the few weeks Bio served as Information Minister (until August 1992), he propagated the worst ever repressive press laws which Sierra Leone had ever had. It was worse than any the old APC Government ever propagated. Bio is now trying to woo sections of the media that he has since reformed himself.
However, his past actions towards violence against journalists speak volumes about his real propensity for committing human rights abuses. These are all amongst the numerous issues which continue to dog his candidacy to be the next President of Sierra Leone.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.