The Inspector General of Police in Sierra Leone has been accused of seeking to censor one of the country`s leading dailies.
The News Watch newspaper alleged on Tuesday that Inspector General Francis Alieu Munu had instructed the Independent Media Commission
(IMC) to take pre-emptive action against it and its editor over a story alleging bribery within the peacekeeping mission of the force.
The IMC regulates all media issues in Sierra Leone.
That story was published last week with the banner headline: Bribery Scandal hits SLP Peacekeeping Mission.
Citing a letter dated November 17, addressed to the media regulator from the police chief, News Watch alleged that the police chief took an immediate action against it.
The paper`s publishers pointed out with interest the fact that the police chief did not contest the accuracy of the story but instead only demanded action be taking against it.
The editorial board of News Watch considers the action of the IG by instructing the IMC as an act of threatening and arm-twisting of the Commission to act ultra-vires, and as a ploy to intimidate the Commission and by extension the News Watch newspaper, part of the statement from the editorial board read.
The News Watch is published by a company owned by a renowned human rights lawyer and civil society activist, Emmanuel Saffa Abdullai