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Lungi: Traditional anti-crime mechanism leads to retrieval of stolen government property

25 September 2021 at 19:32 | 832 views

Note from the Editor: The Sierra Leone Police Force, like many African police forces these days, seems to rely more and more on local community resources including traditional anti-crime resources that existed on the continent long before European colonialism. In Sierra Leone, the Gbom (photo) was one of an array of deterrents against thievery and armed robbery. The person or persons that steal and rob but refuse to confess are publicly handed over to the Gbom (which, it is believed by the people of northern Sierra Leone, can cause death through thunder strikes, road accidents or other deadly results). Gbom is therefore more feared in the north than the modern police force and judiciary. In the press release below, the Sierra Leone Police decided to work with Gbom traditional specialists to force a public confession and a return of stolen national electrification items.

Sierra Leone Police

From: Crime Officer Lungi Division

To: AIG North West Region

Situation Report on An alleged case of unlawful Possession
Be informed that at 10:10 hours on Saturday 18th September 2021, Pa Komrabai Mayle Kamara chiefdom speaker of Kaffu Bullom Lungi reported on behalf of the chiefdom that about 10:30 hours on Saturday 11th September 2021, prior to the swearing ceremony instituted by chiefdom Local Authorities against thieves bent on stealing and vandalising of Government installations such as electric transformers and other properties within Lungi township and its environs, Councilor Ibrahim Sankoh of Ward 239 constituency 077 residing at Back of Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School Masoila Lungi confessed to the Paramount chief that he had in his possession twenty three 23 solar panels and five 5 batteries that were removed from Kamara street Masoila, Lung,i sometime in September 2020 by his subjects to prevent them being stolen by thieves and the said items had since been in his custody.

Statement was obtained from the complainant whilst councilor Ibrahim Sankoh was contacted and invited through telephone but failed to show up. A team of investigators proceeded to the residence of councilor Ibrahim Sankoh but himself and his wife were nowhere to be found. With the consent of his neighbor and caretaker Abass Kamara, a search warrant was executed in his premises witnessed by Pa Alimamy Sinneh Kargbo section chief. During the course of search , 23 street solar panels and 5 batteries identified as government property were retrieved and now in police custody. An investigation is in progress.

Foday Kallon D/ASP
Crime officer Lungi Division.

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