Mr. Tony Konomanyi, the younger brother of Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Diana Konomanyi, has defended his sister of “stupid allegations” posted on social media by agents of City Mayor of Kono township, His Worship Saa Emerson Lamina.

Saa Emerson Lamina-Diana Konomanyi

According to Mr. Konomanyi, the Mayor is preempting publicity on an impending criminal investigation.

Many around the world were astounded when in morning of yesterday February 16th 2016, a very close friend of the Mayor who is also an international journalist had flashed an alarming news report on social media, to wit:

“Mayor of the eastern Sierra Leone city of Koidu, Saa Emerson Lamina has been attacked inside the state-owned SLBC radio in the town, allegedly by three knife-wielding men who he said smashed his car screen. He escaped unscathed. The mayor was reacting on the radio this morning to allegations made against him by Minister of Local Govt Diana Konomanyi referring to him as a thug because he forced open the city football stadium to allow for a controversial football national league fixture to be honoured. It is alleged that both the Minister and Paramount Chief Saquee were behind the attack.”

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The reporter went on to say, “Both Saquee and Konomanyi have denied any knowledge of or links to the attack.”

It was in reaction to the above that Mr. Konomanyi contacted this newspaper yesterday afternoon of February 16th 2016 on a phone line from London. A loudly furious Tony Konomanyi spoke of his disgust at how “the Mayor has resorted to lies and false allegations to divert attention from investigations into alleged fraud at city council”.

“These people need to leave my sister alone. The hounding and lies is too much now,” he asserted.

Asked why he thought the Mayor would make false allegations against his sister, Mr Tony Konomanyi was quick to add, “I imagine he’s telling lies so that when the time comes for him to be publicly held responsible he can mislead the public by lying that he’s being persecuted. But like I have always said, the only way for the Mayor to convince us that he’s indeed innocent of the allegations is for him to produce documental proofs that the monies from city council vehicles sales, from rental of city premises to churches, and other public funds were deposited into the city account. So far we’ve only heard baseless and unrelated allegations from Mayor Lamina”.

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Mr. Tony Konomanyi who is a retired British Ministry of Justice official challenged the Mayor to identify the ‘thugs’ he alleges attacked him.

“If the Mayor is alleging that two of Kono District’s most senior and respected citizens sent thugs to assault him, then he must know the identity of the thugs; how else would he know by whom they were sent? Either the Mayor identifies these alleged thugs, or he now stands guilty of slandering the names of the Honourable Minister, Madam Diana Konomanyi, and Paramount Chief Saquee,” he concluded.

When this press contacted Paramount Chief Paul Saquee, he expressed anger and disbelief at the Mayor’s claims.

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“This young man continues to bring into disrepute one of our district’s highest public offices. These allegations are false of course and not worthy of any sober-minded person’s attention,” the Chief concluded.

Honourable Diana Konomanyi also in a brief telephone chat from her office, outrightly dismissed the claims as untrue.

“My focus for now as far as Kono is concerned, is as to how I should continue to unite the district and how to take more and more progressive developments in to Kono. Nobody will distract me!” the Cabinet Minister pledged.