Missing Arms & Ammunition…

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6 military officers may face court martial

July 13, 2018

By Alusine Sesay

Deputy Chief of Defense Staff of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Major-General D.T.O. Taluva, yesterday confirmed to pressmen that six senior military officers may face a court martial if found wanting for various treasonable offenses.

Currently, the military and police are jointly investigating circumstances leading to missing arms and ammunitions stockpiled by the now disbanded Joint Presidential Guard Force (JPGF), and the discovery of arms and ammunition at the Presidential Lodge at Hill Station in Freetown.

According to Captain Yayah Brima, a Board of Inquiry (BOI) headed by Brigadier General Usman Turay has been set up to investigate the missing arms and ammunition previously held by the JPGF.

Captain Brima, attached to the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Defense, yesterday told pressmen that two military officers – Brigadier-General Albert Kargbo and Captain Patrick Kamara – who were heading the JPGF are currently being investigated by the BIO for the missing arms and ammunition at the Presidential Lodge, while four others, including Brigadier-General Albert Kargbo, Brigadier-General Ronnie Harleston, Colonel George Bangura and Lieutenant-Colonel Sheku Tejan Sesay have been released to the Criminal Investigations Department and are being investigated for the discovery of arms and ammunition at the Presidential Lodge at Hill Station.

He informed the media that Brigadier-General Albert Kargbo, who is being investigated for the missing arms and ammunition, has been suspended from the military, while Captain Patrick Kamara is under custody, but refused to disclose whether the latter is under police custody or detained by the military.

Captain Brima stated that after the retirement of former President Ernest Bai Koroma in April this year, the Senior Management Team at the Ministry of Defense and RSLAF directed that all arms and ammunitions holdings of the former JPGF be back loaded to the Joint Logistics Unit (JLU).

He disclosed that during the stock checking, current commander of the unit, Colonel Albert Bockarie, discovered serious shortage of the said arms and ammunitions.

He could not disclose the quantity of arms and ammunitions which the former JPGF could not account for due to security reasons.

In relation to the ammunition discovered at the Presidential Lodge, the army captain narrated that on Monday, 18th June, a large cache of ammunition, which appeared to have been dumped in a cesspit sucker-way, was discovered at the lodge.

“The quantity and type of the ammo included 178 rounds of 12.7mm Chinese and 1,606 rounds of 14.5mm Chinese. Those ammunitions were then retrieved in the presence of the various security agencies,” he disclosed.

He noted that the four senior military officers were being interrogated only because of their previous roles and responsibilities, adding that the CID believes the four could be helpful in providing information regarding the discovered ammunition.