On July 29, 1974, an explosion rocked the Spur Road, Freetown residence of acting Vice President and Minister of Finance Christian Alusine Kamara-Taylor.
Fifteen men went on trial on August 30th of the same year charged with treason for trying to overthrow the government of President Siaka Stevens in one of the biggest political court cases Sierra Leone had ever seen. Because of the prominence of first accused Mohamed Sorie Fornah, a medical doctor and former minister of finance, the case became known as the “Treason Trial of Mohamed Sorie Fornah and fourteen others.”
But who were the fourteen others? Google does not have the answer. A professor of history from Sierra Leone could not name them. Their names were not listed in “The Devil That Danced on the Water,” a book by Aminatta Fornah, daughter of Mohamed Sorie Fornah.
Sierraleone365 has obtained original copies of government newspaper coverage of the trial in 1974. Here is a comprehensive list of the fifteen men and the careers the government said they were engaged in when they were arrested.
Mohamed Sorie Fornah, first accused, former Finance Minster, Businessman
Habib Lansana Kamara, second accused, ex-Lieutenant, Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces, Trader
Ibrahim Taqi, third accused, ex-Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Public Relations Consultant
Abdul Bai Kamara, fourth accused, ex-Electoral Commissioner, Businessman
David Lansana, fifth accused, ex-Brigadier and Force Commander
Abu Mohamed Kanu, sixth accused, Secretary/Accountant
Albert Tot Thomas, seventh accused, ex-Serviceman, Businessman
Bedor Kamara, eight accused, Tanker Driver
Bundu Kamara, ninth accused, Businessman
George Thompson, tenth accused, Store Keeper at Seaboard
Issa Jalloh, eleventh accused, Businessman
Bai Makari N’Silk, twelfth accused, ex-Paramount Chief
Alimamy Mansaray, thirteenth accused, Sub-Inspector, Internal Security Unit, (ISU)
Mohamed Turay, fourteenth accused, Sergeant, Sierra Leone Police
Unfa Mansaray, fifteenth accused, Cook.
The men were accused and found guilty of trying to overthrow the government on July 29, 1974.