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COCORIOKO » Blog Archive » COCORIOKO SCOOP : TOM NYUMA SPEAKS TO COCORIOKO FROM HOSPITAL BED IN BO …DENIES ALLEGATIONS……EXONERATES APC LEADER ERNEST KOROMA

COCORIOKO SCOOP : TOM NYUMA SPEAKS TO COCORIOKO FROM HOSPITAL BED IN BO …DENIES ALLEGATIONS……EXONERATES APC LEADER ERNEST KOROMA

COCORIOKO SCOOP : 9 : 30 am Eastern Standard Time : Tuesday July 24, 2007
TOM NYUMA SPEAKS TO COCORIOKO FROM HOSPITAL BED IN BO …DENIES ALLEGATIONS……EXONERATES APC LEADER ERNEST KOROMA

By Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu

Ex-Army Lt. Col Tom Nyuma has given his first interview to the press ( To COCORIOKO ) since he recovered from his coma last night .Speaking calmly and assuredly and without any vengence in the tone of his voice, Nyuma this morning took his time to explain what happened yesterday morning at the Country Side Hotel in Bo where he was badly beaten up and seriously injured by people accusing him of attempting to assassinate the leader of the All People’s Congress ( APC) , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

TOM NYUMA ATTACKED 2

THE INJURED TOM NYUMA

Mr. Nyuma denied all allegations against him and blamed the hotel staff for their big mistake in accomodating him and the APC Leader in rooms

Col. Nyuma also took his time to exonerate the APC Leader , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma , from all blame for what happened to him. Infact, from his explanation, had it not been for the APC Chief, and the Police he could have been beaten to death by his assailants.

At dawn today, Tom Nyuma’s wife, Mrs. Elsie Nyuma , called COCORIOKO and said Col. Nyuma was on the line from his hospital bed in Bo and wanted to talk to this newspaper about what happened to him yesterday morning. .The interview could not go on because the line went dead .But two hours later, Mr. Nyuma came on again and this time the line was clear and he explained his own side of this dramatic and sordid saga that has Sierra Leone on the edge of crisis in the midst of electioneering campaign for the all-important General Elections on August 11, 2007.

Mr. Nyuma told COCORIOKO that he was much improved now, though he still suffered from nagging pains in the head. He said that he was still admitted at the Dr. Yilla Clinic in Bo .He said he could have been taken to Freetown today, but the Bo Police are asking him to stay so that they can get statements from him about what happened yesterday morning at the Countryside Hotel.

Cocorioko’s first question to Col.Nyuma was what he was doing at the hotel at that time, knowing fully well that the APC Leader was lodged there and that his presence would cause suspicions and problems. Nyuma swore on everything that was sacred to him that he never went to the hotel with knowledge of the APC Leader being lodged there. He said it later came to him as a huge surprise that the hotel authorities had gone and provided accomodation to him and Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma and party not only in the same hotel, but in rooms close to each other.

Tom told COCORIOKO that he booked in at the hotel at about 10: pm on Sunday night. He said that he had gone to Koindu, where he hailed from and parts of Kailahun to visit relatives and friends he had not seen since he returned from the U.S. He stated that the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) Presidential running mate, Mr. Momodu Koroma, rented a Toyota Hilux Pick-up truck for him which he used for the trip, but the vehicle was giving a lot of problems.

Mr. Nyuma said that on his way back to Freetown, the vehicle developed mechanical problems at Mano Junction. He said he contacted Mr. John Benjamin, who was also travelling to Freetown that night and was due to spend the night in Bo. Mr. Benjamin, he narrated, told him to go to the Country side Hotel in Bo and wait for him there so that he would pick him up for the final part of the trip to Freetown on Monday.
COCORIOKO : What vehicle was Mr. Benjamin using ?
NYUMA : I think he was using his official car.

Tom said he booked in at the Country side Hotel at around 10: pm. He explained that John Benjamin booked in after 11 pm. Nyuma said he knew nothing about whether the APC Leader was there or planning to come to stay there for the night.” I was in my room with Mr. Philip George , keeping company hours later when my bodyguards came to knock at the door ..They came to inform me that the APC Leader had been given a room next to mine. I was surprised but then told my bodyguards not to mind because I believe in the philosophy that your political opponent is not your enemy. ” Tom further explained.

Mr.Nyuma said that after a long while, they heard footsteps and people knocking at the door again. This time, it was not his bodyguards but people with strange voices. He said that Mr. Philip George asked him not to open the door , but he said he repeated what he had told his bodyguards that his political opponents were not his enemies and he went and opened the door.

Mr. Nyuma said that when he opened the door, a group of men , who were armed, entered the room and started to interrogate him about reasons for his presence at the hotel. He said the situation resulted in a scuffle and the men pounced on him and Mr. George and started beating and kicking them.He said he was mercilessly beaten , thrown on the floor and tied up.

COCORIOKO : Did they stab you as reported yesterday ?
NYUMA : No. .They did not stab me. Though they had weapons, they only beat me physically and kept kicking me on my face , head and other parts of the body as I lay on the floor..Well, I have a cut on my head and may be that was caused by a weapon.
COCORIOKO :Why did the interrogation turn into a scuffle ? Did you guys exchange words ?
NYUMA : I don’t know. All I can say is that these men were desperate and they just attacked me.They started to search me,; they undressed me and then started beating me and when I fell on the floor, they started kicking me all over my body.

Nyuma said that as his attackers kept kicking him on the floor, the leader of the APC , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, came out of his room .”You could see that he was very surprised at what was going on and he started screaming :’ What is going on, gentlemen ? What are you doing ? Why all this ? ? Why are you doing this ? Stop it ! ! Stop it ! ! !’ ”

Mr. Nyuma said that Mr. Koroma was shocked to see him . “I know Ernest Bai Koroma well. He is a gentleman. I don’t think he supported this violence. His intervention and that of the Police made them stop kicking and beating me. I was bleeding and was immediately taken for treatment…I am not trying to exonerate him , but I don’t think Ernest sent them because he defended me when he came out and he was surprised at everything he saw. ”

COCORIOKO : During all this beating, were they accusing you of anything ?
NYUMA : They just wanted to know what I was doing in the hotel when the APC Leader was lodging there. But frankly, Reverend, these men were armed and could have killed me if they wanted to.I think their main purpose was to loot, because they stole my wallet and took away my digital camera, laptop , briefcase and other personal belongings. May be, they wanted to kill me too .But my understanding is that they were bent more on looting than killing me. .”
Asked why he did not heed his bodyguard’s advice not to open the door, Mr. Nyuma said he never thought that they had come to attack him. “I am an old military officer. Do you think that if I had known that they were going to attack me, I would not have found a way to escape ? ”
COCORIOKO : Did you indentify any of your assailants ?
NYUMA: Yes, I did. Their leader was Idriss Kamara, commonly known as Leather Boots . The other was my former personal bodyguard, Soriba. I was surprised .When I returned from the U.S, I saw Leatherboots at the Ministerial Building and hugged him enthusiastically and I told him we were brothers and that though we may not be on the same side anymore, we must remain brothers .He too hugged me and we spoke nicely. As for Soriba, I had been trying to reach him, but he is ashamed to come close to me because he went and became a senior bodyguard to Foday Sankoh.

COCORIOKO : Where were you taken after you were saved ?
NYUMA : I went into a coma and did not know anything until I woke up and found myself in this hospital.

COCORIOKO : Col. Nyuma, you have done a good job by speaking to this newspaper. Your explanation is going to go a long way to cool down tensions in the country and the diaspora. I want to assure you that the whole world is going to hear your own side of the story within hours .Yesterday , we published your wife and your mother’s version. As you can see, we are an independent newspaper and we thrive on providing all sides of the issue;
NYUMA : I know.That is why I called you.
COCORIOKO : Do you have any message for the Sierra Leonean people ? The tension is high out there. What you say may help to cool down the tensions.
NYUMA : I want the people of Sierra Leone to know that we are all one, despite our political affliations. I want tell them that we must all be united and work to develop our country. I returned from the U.S with no evil intentions. We are all free to affiliate with any party of our choice but that should not make us enemies. Your political opponent is not your enemy.

COCORIOKO ; Thank you ever so much for contacting us . Please feel free to talk to us at any time you have any more important information to pass on to the Sierra Leonean people.
NYUMA : God bless you for your hard work
COCORIOKO : God bless you too.May He give you a speedy recovery.

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Subject: Tom Nyuma side : God bless Cocorioko
From: Patriotic Sierra Leonean
To: All
Date Posted: 10:19:54 07/24/07 ()
Email Address:
Entered From: at 208.115.227.171

Message:
COCORIOKO SCOOP : 9 : 30 am Eastern Standard Time : Tuesday July 24, 2007
TOM NYUMA SPEAKS TO COCORIOKO FROM HOSPITAL BED IN BO …DENIES ALLEGATIONS……EXONERATES APC LEADER ERNEST KOROMA

By Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu

Ex-Army Lt. Col Tom Nyuma has given his first interview to the press ( To COCORIOKO ) since he recovered from his coma last night .Speaking calmly and assuredly and without any vengence in the tone of his voice, Nyuma this morning took his time to explain what happened yesterday morning at the Country Side Hotel in Bo where he was badly beaten up and seriously injured by people accusing him of attempting to assassinate the leader of the All People’s Congress ( APC) , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

Mr. Nyuma denied all allegations against him and blamed the hotel staff for their big mistake in accomodating him and the APC Leader in rooms

Col. Nyuma also took his time to exonerate the APC Leader , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma , from all blame for what happened to him. Infact, from his explanation, had it not been for the APC Chief, and the Police he could have been beaten to death by his assailants.

At dawn today, Tom Nyuma’s wife, Mrs. Elsie Nyuma , called COCORIOKO and said Col. Nyuma was on the line from his hospital bed in Bo and wanted to talk to this newspaper about what happened to him yesterday morning. .The interview could not go on because the line went dead .But two hours later, Mr. Nyuma came on again and this time the line was clear and he explained his own side of this dramatic and sordid saga that has Sierra Leone on the edge of crisis in the midst of electioneering campaign for the all-important General Elections on August 11, 2007.

Mr. Nyuma told COCORIOKO that he was much improved now, though he still suffered from nagging pains in the head. He said that he was still admitted at the Dr. Yilla Clinic in Bo .He said he could have been taken to Freetown today, but the Bo Police are asking him to stay so that they can get statements from him about what happened yesterday morning at the Countryside Hotel.

Cocorioko’s first question to Col.Nyuma was what he was doing at the hotel at that time, knowing fully well that the APC Leader was lodged there and that his presence would cause suspicions and problems. Nyuma swore on everything that was sacred to him that he never went to the hotel with knowledge of the APC Leader being lodged there. He said it later came to him as a huge surprise that the hotel authorities had gone and provided accomodation to him and Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma and party not only in the same hotel, but in rooms close to each other.

Tom told COCORIOKO that he booked in at the hotel at about 10: pm on Sunday night. He said that he had gone to Koindu, where he hailed from and parts of Kailahun to visit relatives and friends he had not seen since he returned from the U.S. He stated that the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) Presidential running mate, Mr. Momodu Koroma, rented a Toyota Hilux Pick-up truck for him which he used for the trip, but the vehicle was giving a lot of problems.

Mr. Nyuma said that on his way back to Freetown, the vehicle developed mechanical problems at Mano Junction. He said he contacted Mr. John Benjamin, who was also travelling to Freetown that night and was due to spend the night in Bo. Mr. Benjamin, he narrated, told him to go to the Country side Hotel in Bo and wait for him there so that he would pick him up for the final part of the trip to Freetown on Monday.
COCORIOKO : What vehicle was Mr. Benjamin using ?
NYUMA : I think he was using his official car.

Tom said he booked in at the Country side Hotel at around 10: pm. He explained that John Benjamin booked in after 11 pm. Nyuma said he knew nothing about whether the APC Leader was there or planning to come to stay there for the night.” I was in my room with Mr. Philip George , keeping company hours later when my bodyguards came to knock at the door ..They came to inform me that the APC Leader had been given a room next to mine. I was surprised but then told my bodyguards not to mind because I believe in the philosophy that your political opponent is not your enemy. ” Tom further explained.

Mr.Nyuma said that after a long while, they heard footsteps and people knocking at the door again. This time, it was not his bodyguards but people with strange voices. He said that Mr. Philip George asked him not to open the door , but he said he repeated what he had told his bodyguards that his political opponents were not his enemies and he went and opened the door.

Mr. Nyuma said that when he opened the door, a group of men , who were armed, entered the room and started to interrogate him about reasons for his presence at the hotel. He said the situation resulted in a scuffle and the men pounced on him and Mr. George and started beating and kicking them.He said he was mercilessly beaten , thrown on the floor and tied up.

COCORIOKO : Did they stab you as reported yesterday ?
NYUMA : No. .They did not stab me. Though they had weapons, they only beat me physically and kept kicking me on my face , head and other parts of the body as I lay on the floor..Well, I have a cut on my head and may be that was caused by a weapon.
COCORIOKO :Why did the interrogation turn into a scuffle ? Did you guys exchange words ?
NYUMA : I don’t know. All I can say is that these men were desperate and they just attacked me.They started to search me,; they undressed me and then started beating me and when I fell on the floor, they started kicking me all over my body.

Nyuma said that as his attackers kept kicking him on the floor, the leader of the APC , Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, came out of his room .”You could see that he was very surprised at what was going on and he started screaming :’ What is going on, gentlemen ? What are you doing ? Why all this ? ? Why are you doing this ? Stop it ! ! Stop it ! ! !’ ”

Mr. Nyuma said that Mr. Koroma was shocked to see him . “I know Ernest Bai Koroma well. He is a gentleman. I don’t think he supported this violence. His intervention and that of the Police made them stop kicking and beating me. I was bleeding and was immediately taken for treatment…I am not trying to exonerate him , but I don’t think Ernest sent them because he defended me when he came out and he was surprised at everything he saw. ”

COCORIOKO : During all this beating, were they accusing you of anything ?
NYUMA : They just wanted to know what I was doing in the hotel when the APC Leader was lodging there. But frankly, Reverend, these men were armed and could have killed me if they wanted to.I think their main purpose was to loot, because they stole my wallet and took away my digital camera, laptop , briefcase and other personal belongings. May be, they wanted to kill me too .But my understanding is that they were bent more on looting than killing me. .”
Asked why he did not heed his bodyguard’s advice not to open the door, Mr. Nyuma said he never thought that they had come to attack him. “I am an old military officer. Do you think that if I had known that they were going to attack me, I would not have found a way to escape ? ”
COCORIOKO : Did you indentify any of your assailants ?
NYUMA: Yes, I did. Their leader was Idriss Kamara, commonly known as Leather Boots . The other was my former personal bodyguard, Soriba. I was surprised .When I returned from the U.S, I saw Leatherboots at the Ministerial Building and hugged him enthusiastically and I told him we were brothers and that though we may not be on the same side anymore, we must remain brothers .He too hugged me and we spoke nicely. As for Soriba, I had been trying to reach him, but he is ashamed to come close to me because he went and became a senior bodyguard to Foday Sankoh.

COCORIOKO : Where were you taken after you were saved ?
NYUMA : I went into a coma and did not know anything until I woke up and found myself in this hospital.

COCORIOKO : Col. Nyuma, you have done a good job by speaking to this newspaper. Your explanation is going to go a long way to cool down tensions in the country and the diaspora. I want to assure you that the whole world is going to hear your own side of the story within hours .Yesterday , we published your wife and your mother’s version. As you can see, we are an independent newspaper and we thrive on providing all sides of the issue;
NYUMA : I know.That is why I called you.
COCORIOKO : Do you have any message for the Sierra Leonean people ? The tension is high out there. What you say may help to cool down the tensions.
NYUMA : I want the people of Sierra Leone to know that we are all one, despite our political affliations. I want tell them that we must all be united and work to develop our country. I returned from the U.S with no evil intentions. We are all free to affiliate with any party of our choice but that should not make us enemies. Your political opponent is not your enemy.

COCORIOKO ; Thank you ever so much for contacting us . Please feel free to talk to us at any time you have any more important information to pass on to the Sierra Leonean people.
NYUMA : God bless you for your hard work
COCORIOKO : God bless you too.May He give you a speedy recovery.

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Subject: Re: Tom Nyuma side : God bless Cocorioko
From: MUSA KAMARA
To: All
Date Posted: 10:42:16 07/24/07 ()
Email Address:
Entered From: luna.hypair.net at 194.50.180.4

Message:
Thanks Cocorioko especially to the Rev.K Kanu for your diligent work.We have heard from Tom.N but their doubts to the authencity of his side of the story,unless we get the side of the hotel staff,then we may get a clue of what actually happened in the hotel.

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