SACKED CHIEF OF STAFF IN “POLCE FREEZER”: Awaits Friday Court Appearance

It was yesterday Afternoon, when word went round that the sacked Chief of Staff; Dr. Richard Konteh has been invited to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The reason for the invitation is different from what used to take place on a daily basis when he was invited to show up, pat on the back and told to return home quietly.

It took the form of an invitation from a phone call, but this time his arrival at the premises of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the doors of a room at the Ground floor were opened and was ushered in to take a “rest”. Not the usual rest after a day’s journey but to rest and wait for further instructions from the police after the office of the Director of Public Prosecution(DPP) had giving the go ahead that he should respond to some criminal indictments in Court.


For the whole of yesterday, Dr. Konteh couldn’t believed what he heard from the police and had thought that he was going to rest and spend a little time and told to go home, but the situation turned out to be different from what he usually enjoyed at the Criminal Investigation Department. His Lawyer, Pa Momoh Fofanah who had threatened media houses and demanded apologies from them on behalf of his client, claiming that his client was innocent was reportedly locked in shocks and surprises when he learnt that his letter of threat may have pushed police investigators to wrap up the investigation process and subsequently called on his client to take a rest while waiting for Friday to appear in court to respond to criminal charges that would be thrown at him. This may be the first time that Dr. Richard Konteh is spending time in police custody, awaiting further instructions.

He is a well known personality both in Sierra Leone and the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he left the region in a very cloudy circumstance and emerged in Sierra Leone. It was in June 2005 when he was appointed Secretary General for the West African Civil Society Forum, for short known as (WACSOF). It was an ECOWAS projected, which was allegedly funded by multiple donor organizations, such as OSIWA, ECOWAS, DFID and other financial institutions. At WACSOF he was responsible for resource mobilization on behalf of the Secretariat. In the last quarter of his tenure, which was in 2006, he showcased his true colour as someone who should not be relied upon or assign to higher office. Just at the time when he realized that his contract was coming to an end, he allegedly took a hefty overdraft on the project account in Abuja, which led to most of the donors withdrawing their financial support to the organization. Since the advent of the APC in power, Dr. Konteh has held several key positions of trust in the APC administration. He was Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Minister of Trade and Industry, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, Process Lead, Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC), Sierra Leone, Chairman of the Multi-Stakeholder Group(MSG),Political and administrative leadership to the Sierra Leone Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative(SLEITI) Secretariat and lately Chief of Staff with office at State House. With all these positions, he hardly believes that he would find himself oneday in a small corner as a guest in the custody of the Sierra Leone Police waiting for instructions from his host. It is not known what will be the next step of the investigators. Meanwhile, this medium has learnt that he will be charged to Court on Friday this week to meet with Alie Sumah and others who are currently standing trial for timber export, above the stipulated quantity authorized by President Ernest Bai Koroma.

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