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Statistics Sierra Leone staff in alleged rape scandal

August 24, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Harbour Police Station in the east of Freetown is currently looking into an alleged rape matter involving one Mohamed Osman Koroma, who works at the GIS Department of Statistics Sierra Leone, against a 21 year-old girl.

The incident, according to the alleged victim’s statement to the police, took place on the evening of 12 August, around 6:17pm allegedly at Koroma’s 35 Coconut Farm residence in the east of the city.

Parents of the alleged victim are not happy that the suspect is currently walking the streets of Freetown as a free man after being granted bail by officers at the Harbour Police Station few days after his arrest.

Explaining her ordeal, the girl told Concord Times that she received a call from Koroma, who is a close friend of his father, while preparing her ice cream for sale, to take Le2,000 worth of ice cream to his residence. She said she accepted because she wanted to use the opportunity to discuss an issue with the suspect that has to do with her father.

“I never knew his residence so he came and picked me up. When we arrived at his place, we discussed lengthily. Immediately I got up to leave, he closed the door, pushed me and held me by the throat so that he could forcibly have sex with me,” she claimed. “Even when I protested and resisted his advances, he would not listen. He wanted to kill me, and I don’t know what came over him.”

She added that she sustained injuries and was left with scratches in her hands and legs as a result of the struggle she had with the suspect.

She said she reported the incident to the Harbour Police Station, who initially arrested Koroma but only to release him on bail. Since then, no progress has been made on the matter, she claimed.

She further alleged that Koroma had, on several occasions, invited her to visit him in his house but she had refused.

“Since last month he has been pleading with me to visit him in his house, but I have been turning down his requests,” she said.

Father of the alleged victim, Abdul Razark Kargbo, said he was surprised by the development because, according to him, Koroma has been a friend since their days at the university and that he had rendered him a lot of assistance.

“When I queried him as to why he decided to rape my daughter, his reply was: ‘I have feelings for her’,” Kargbo said. “I was not expecting him to do this to me after helping him since we were in the university. I will ensure that justice prevails in this matter. He will not go free.”

The father revealed that he has received several calls from prominent individuals, including lecturers at Fourah Bay College, begging him for the matter to be settled, but that he has turned them down.

“Many people have been calling me since this ugly incident happened, asking me to forgive and forget, but I have continued to turn them down,” Kargbo told Concord Times.

When this reporter contacted Koroma to hear his side of the story, he refused to talk and rather directed him to the police officers investigating the matter.

“I cannot comment on the matter because it is already with the police,” Koroma said.

When Concord Times contacted one officer Bangura, who is said to be the lead investigator in the matter, he also declined to provide any details regarding the matter, saying “it is above me”.

“I can’t provide details of this matter because my boss is the one directly handling it,” he said.

The girl’s parents have accused officers at the Harbour police station of dragging their feet in investigating the alleged rape matter because “they have been comprised”.

Concord Times continues its investigation into the matter.

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