The Head of Sierra Leone National Security, Mustapha Dumbuya, has been sacked after security agents seized 250kg of controversial Ebola blood samples, bound for South Africa, at Lungi International Airport.
Mr. Dumbuya, a retired Brigadier-General, was relieved of his duties over the weekend and was immediately replaced by his deputy, Ismail Tarasid-Tarawally, subject to parliamentary approval.
However, no official reason was given for his sack.
Report say agents of the country’s Office of National Security, which Mr. Dumbuya headed, on Friday intercepted a consignment of 2,592 serum samples in 72 boxes bound for South Africa.
The seizure of the Ebola blood samples triggered a wave of public disenchantment, forcing the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the ONS to issue a joint clarification statement.
“The shipment was in line with an agreement between the MOHS and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) laboratory at Lakkah to ship the samples to BSL4 Bio Safety Lab in South Africa for storage and further research,’’ the statement said.
Sierra Leone is one of the three West African countries worst hit by the Ebola Virus Disease that has killed a total of 9,604 people mostly in the three countries that include Guinea and Liberia.
Sierra Leone recorded the highest number of EVD at 11, 301 and the second highest number of deaths at 3,461, behind Liberia with 4,037.
According to the World Health Organisation, transmission remains widespread in the country, with 63 new confirmed cases in the week leading to February 22.