By Hassan Bruz (Slena-Northern Bureau Chief)…..
These are two different and unfortunate incidents that occurred on diverse dates and Locations. Both Matters were reported at the Lunsar Police Division where they are being investigated. The theft of Rails was reported to the Criminal Investigations Department [CID] while the one for the Accident is being handled at the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit which is headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police [ASP] Thomas Yusufu Koroma as the District Traffic Officer in charge of the Lunsar Police Division. Reasonable progress has been made on both matters. Apart from the Railway Accident matter in which the fatally injured person has been identified and handed over to relatives for burial after a post-mortem examination, the Investigators on the theft Case have also arrested a total of 3 Suspects to help in the investigations.
Detective Inspector Issa Nyelenkeh is the Station Officer in charge of Crime Services at the Lunsar Police Division. He said they are investigating a case of Conspiracy, Larceny and Malicious Damage reported by Mohamed Turay – the Community and Security Manager at the Kingho Railway Construction Company. This was after the Maintenance Team of Supervisors headed by Umar Sesay and Alimamy Koroma of the Kingho Company, discovered that 4 Culverts were damaged and about 40 Plates of Rails valued at over 16. 4 Million Leones stolen. He said the Incident occurred between Kilometres 88 / 700 and 88/ 900 on 12th July 2021 but was only reported at the Station on Wednesday 14th July 2021.
The Maintenance Team continued searching for the stolen Rails and later surfaced at a Place in Taindicom Village, where the stolen Rail Plates were being melted and converted for the making of Wooden Hoes. Santigie Kargbo, Abu Bakarr Sidique Sesay and Sorie Kamara are 3 of those found at the Scene and were subsequently arrested while 2 others – Maligie and Alimamy contrived an escape and are on the run.
According to the Investigating Officer – Detective Sergeant 3267 Dauda Yusif Bangura, these are all Natives of Masiaka Village in the Romendy Chiefdom. He told the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA] that the Rail Plates were extracted between Foredugu, Madina and Taindicom Villages. He said Police have already visited the Scene of Crime where photographs of the Damaged Culverts were obtained together with Statements from Complainants, Witnesses and the Suspects that are now in their custody.
The Investigating Officer disclosed that a Warrant for the arrest of the 2 Suspects on the Run has already been issued out adding that they will soon be brought to book.
In a separate development, the District Traffic Officer at the Lunsar Police Division says, the Railway Accident which occurred on Wednesday 21st. July 2021 involved a Train with registration number 1109 and is owned by the Kingho Port Mining Company.
It was under the control of one Renier Beylefeld – a South African National and a male Pedestrian – Santigie Kamara believed to be an Insane. He said the Accident occurred between Matheneh and Massanesi Villages in the Kareneh District and that the Insane Man was fatally injured by the Train. ‘It left Pepel at about 6.10 pm for Ferengbeya in the Tonkolili District with one Empty Flat Belt and 90 Empties of Iron Ore Wagons’ – the Lunsar District Traffic Officer disclosed..
The Driver and his mate, Sheku Mohamed Sheriff, a Sierra Leonean National, had safely passed through 3 Crossing Stations and were approaching the ‘Level Crossing at Kilometre 89.2 along the Matheneh Village when he hooted the horns of the Train. This is normally done for a couple of reasons.
Prominent amongst them is to alert the Crossing Attendants. The blaring of the Train is to also alert Pedestrians who might be crossing the Route. It was at that juncture the Driver saw a Pedestrian on the ‘Ballast Edge’ of the Rails and he had Couse to hoot the Horns again so that the Pedestrian could see the need to move away from the Rails. Shockingly, the Pedestrian only jumped onto the Rail tracks and started walking towards the unstoppable approaching Train and was eventually hit dead.
The District Traffic Officer said it was the Train Driver who informed the Crossing Attendant Security Guards about the accident who in turn reported the matter to the Police in Lunsar. Assistant Superintendent of Police – Thomas Yusufu Koroma said, he immediately dispatched a team of Traffic Police Officers led by Inspector Mustapha Sesay.
He said the Body was retrieved and conveyed to the Port Loko Government Hospital Mortuary for Post-mortem Examinations. The Relatives of the deceased were then contacted who later went to identify the body as that of 38 year old Santigie Kamara of Makop Village.
Inspector Mustapha Sesay who is heading the Team of Investigators in this matter said Santigie Kanu is a Cousin to the Deceased and in his Identification Statement, told the Police that Santigie Kamara has been Insane for nearly 15 years. The Body of Santigie Kamara has since been handed over to the Relatives for Burial while investigations into the matter continue.
It would be recalled that another Train Accident recently occurred along the Maforki Chiefdom in the Port Loko District which involved a Pedestrian that was badly damaged. Sources say the condition of that Pedestrian was so serious that he had to be conveyed to Freetown for further medical treatment.
SLENA would contact the relevant Authorities at the Port Loko Police Station where the matter is supposed to be investigated. More details should also be expected on the Rail Theft Case which is now said to have been transferred to the Regional Headquarters in Port Loko.
The fear is, Matters of such standings often undergo natural deaths as soon as they are removed from the initial Investigators for further inquiries. This Pattern of Policing does not only bear the potential of dampening the spirit of young Investigators and Senior Officers at the various Police Divisions, but can as well create room for corrupt tendencies. It could even debar Natives the opportunity to follow up closely matters of interest.
Many Observers have often attributed it to the ‘Baabu Woork – Monkey Eat’ Pattern, a replica of Boxer – one of the characters in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ who performs all the odds for others to munch well. Therefore SLENA intends to come up with a detailed version in subsequent dispatches. For now, these are Photos of the Train, the District Traffic Officer and the Investigating Officers at the Lunsar Police Statio.