They dragged me to the Poro bush against my will – Police witness testifies

Five police officers from Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District, testified before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Court No 1 on Pademba Road in Freetown, one year after a riot, which resulted in the death of two persons, wounding of several others, kidnapping, theft and damage to properties. Eighteen people, including an older woman, are standing trial for the alleged offences. They face 20 charges ranging from conspiracy, robbery with aggravation, malicious damage and robbery. In her testimony, Mariatu Frances Conteh, a police officer from Sahn Malen Police Station, said they were called to a riot with violence at the Hinai village. She said when they got there, they met a violent mob armed with crude weapons. She said the crowd tried to attack them. She said she recognized the 6th, 7th, 11th accused from Jaw Junction. She said the mob cut her on the leg with a cutlass and hit her hand with a stone from a slingshot. She said they came and grabbed her forcefully claiming that she has seen their Poro bush and palm tree and they must take her there. She said her commander closed her in a shipping container until reinforcements arrived. She said she was issued a police medical request form and made statements at the Sahn Malen Police Station. PW 18, Gainda Ansumana, another police officer, narrated on Monday 21 January 2019, he was at the Bendu checkpoint when called upon by Inspector Foday Kargbo. Kargbo said to Ansumana there was a Poro society activity going on in Sahn Malen Chiefdom. He testified that there was a joint security response at the scene of the riot at Jaw Junction where the Socfin Agricultural company property and personnel are located. He said he recognized accused No. 6, 7, 10, 11 and 16. He said they were part of the people in the street rioting and burning and armed with crude and deadly weapons. Despite the warning by security personnel for the rioters to show restraint, they refused and someone shot a single barrel gun from behind a big cotton tree. He said he was shot in the head and collapsed.

GIBO Town has been renamed " PA O PA TOWN"

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