A Discipline Committee set up by the Sierra Leone Police about a month ago has ruled against 6 police officers for unlawfully arresting and maltreating a journalist and Programme Manager of Radio Maria Mr. Abdul Charles Mansaray at his office on 27th August, 2009.
The hearing took place at the conference room of the Sierra Leone Police Headquarters yesterday, chaired by ASP Fayia Sellu.
The defaulters include ASP Philip Harding, Inspector Mohamed Banya; identified as the first and second defaulters, and four other constables; 6400 SGT. Lewis Frank, 7249 P.C’s Conteh, W., 8711 Stevens J.K., and 8687 D/P.C. Mohamed, B. were all found guilty on four count charges.
The charges range from improper practice; modified as an attempt to investigate a case of an alleged fraud which is outside their job description contrary to paragraph (9) Rule 31 (e) of the Discipline Code under the second schedule of the Police Discipline Regulations 2001 and Failing to comply with any standing order issued by the Inspector General of Police which was interpreted as an option to take up investigation which is outside their job description; contrary to paragraph (9) Rule (43) of the Discipline Code under the second schedule of the Police Discipline Regulation 2001.
The 2001 Discipline Regulations further trapped the Police defaulters under an Act to the prejudice of good order and discipline, which means that ASP Philip and Inspector Mohamed Banya gave an order for the unlawful arrest of Abdul Charles Mansaray which is tantamount to damaging the good image of the Police Force, and contrary to Paragraph (9) rule 47 of the Regulation Act.
The four constables were similarly found guilty under paragraph (9) Rule 43 and paragraph (9) Rule 47 and were levied another fine for violating paragraph (9) Rule 23 of the Police Discipline Regulations 2001 which deals with using any person in custody; interpreted to mean that the four constables handcuffed Mr. Abdul Charles Mansaray while traveling onboard a RAV 4 Jeep with registration number ADT 713; which could have undeniably cost the life of the journalist in the event the vehicle would have had an accident.
The rules also found the officers wanting under Paragraph (9) Rule 23 of the Discipline Code which deals with omission to make necessary entry in any official document which implies that the four constables failed to make relevant entries relating to their arrival in Makeni and the subsequent unlawful arrest of Abdul Charles Mansaray.
All the six defaulters admitted they were guilty and pleaded for mercy.
The two senior officers were issued warning letters including the constables. Second accused Inspector Mohamed Banya was fined the sum of Le500, 000 and Le200, 000 for the four junior officers respectively.
The fines are yet to be approved by the Inspector General of Police.
By Poindexter Sama