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Sierra Leone
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Police brutality and CDIID inertia!

…FBC students cry for justice

By Alusine Sesay

Two university students – Adi Nyanga Brima and Betty Feimata Brima – who accuse a group of police personnel of beating and molesting them, have appealed for justice, apparently because officers of the Complaint, Discipline and Internal Investigation Department (CDIID) of the Sierra Leone Police, have been reticent to fast track the matter, more than three months after the incident happened in Lumley, west of Freetown.

Adi Nayga Brima, a second year student of Community Development Studies at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, was allegedly beaten and stripped of her pants by some police personnel attached at the Lumley Police Station at the time of the ugly incident.

“On the 29th January this year, I was atop a commercial motor bike (Okada) from Regent Road, Lumley, when someone hit my back and eventually, with some vengeance, lifted me from the bike to the floor,” Adi told Concord Times, adding “I only took notice that I was being brutalized by some police personnel when I was lying down on the floor helplessly. My only crime for receiving such brutality, according to the police, was that I was badly dressed with short skirt which they said exposed my legs. They tore my pants into pieces and left me half naked on the ground.”

According to the victim, she was saved by a stranger who offered the police some money for her release.

“After I have been released, I called on my younger sister, Feimata Brima, who advised that the police personnel be pursued and identified for onward action. We went to Lumley and identified some of the police perpetuators who were together with one Inspector P.O. Sesay, the Operation Commander attached to the Lumley police station,” she further narrated her ordeal.

However, matters to came to a head when the two sisters attempted to take photographs of the alleged police perpetuators, for pictorial evidence, and were subsequently ruffled and accosted by the officers, under the full view of Inspector Sesay, who students alleged, encouraged his subordinates to physical molest them.

“They arrested my sister, referred to her as a criminal and took her to the Lumley Police Station where she was mercilessly beaten by the police including Inspector Sesay,” she further alleged, her only crime being for taking photos of the officers who fearful of being identified by their victims.

As if their ordeal was not enough, the Adi claimed that the police demanded money from their mother to allow her secure bail for them.

Because they were not allowed to make a statement at the Lumley Police Station, she said, they decided to forward their complaint to CDIID – the internal complaint and discipline body established by the police – for action to be taken against the police perpetuators, but no action has been taken against the officers, who have since been redeployed at the Police Training School at Hastings.

She revealed though that officers at the CDIID were quite helpful in assisting them identify some of the alleged perpetuators, although no action has yet to be taken against them.

They young female students are concerned that police bosses have been less than willing to bring the errant officers to book after almost three months of feet dragging.

“We need justice because the police are meddling with our complaint,” Adi, the older of the two siblings said.

However, in a telephone interview, Abu Bakarr Kargbo, a senior investigator at the CDIID, told Concord Times that the matter had been investigated and involves a senior officer.

He claimed that the file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice, albeit he did not state how long it would take for the matter to be charged to court.

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