Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 April 2021:
After the shooting dead by police on Thursday of an unarmed young man – Alpha Kargbo in a private land dispute in Hastings that did not concern the police, there is growing call for the sacking of the Inspector General of Police who seems to have lost control of his force.
A statement published yesterday by police headquarters in Freetown says that four officers involved in the shooting have been arrested to face justice.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph yesterday contacted the brother of the young man shot by the police, journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo to express sympathy to his family. Mahmoud Tim Kargbo is a frequent writer for the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
This is what the police’s statement said:
“The management of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) would like to inform the general public about a fatal shooting incident that occurred at Hastings village, on Thursday 15th April 2021, involving some of our personnel. preliminary investigations conducted so far reveal that the incident emanated from a land dispute between the now deceased Alpha Kargbo and another resident of the village.
“On suspicion that Alpha Kargbo was fatally injured, some residents of the village went on the rampage by setting roadblocks, burning down homes, throwing missiles and damaging property within the village. the police responded to this seeming public disorder situation and thereby arrested thirteen suspects.
“The four police officers who were alleged to have been involved in the fatal shooting were also arrested and taken into police custody.
“The SLP would like the public to know that these officers have since been suspended from duty and placed on administrative and criminal investigations. management wishes to appeal to the general public, particularly, residents of Hastings village, to remain calm and trust in the SLP to conduct fair and expeditious investigations into the said incident.
“The public is assured of being regularly updated on the investigations’ progress and subsequent findings upon conclusion.”
Meanwhile, the country’s Lands Complaints and Resolution Committee visited Hastings yesterday, ahead of police investigations into the shooting of Alpha Kargbo, to help resolve the land dispute that led to his unlawful killing.
According to report from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, minister Senesie is said to be keen to ensure justice, and a lasting solution to the land dispute in Hastings that resulted in the fatal shooting last Thursday.
The Lands Complaints and Resolution Committee – led by Chairman, Alhaji Murtada Sesay and accompanied by Committee members visited the disputed site and spoke with various stakeholders in the community. The Committee assured the community that the Ministry is concerned about the incident and the need for justice to be served. According to the Committee Secretary, work with various stakeholders to ensure a speedy investigation to resolve this matter once and for all is well underway.
But there is growing fear across Sierra Leone, especially by Diasporans who have bought property and land in the country about the hiring of heavily armed police and military personnel by rogue elements in the country to attack or intimidate them to gain possession.
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