”My men are not responsible for the shooting on December 13th 2007, my men were only supplied with tear-gas”, this is according to the Local Unit Commander Tankoro, Chief Superintendent Joseph Kabbia.
Testifying on Tuesday at the Jenkins Johntson Commission of Inquiry, set up by the government of Sierra Leone to investigate the discontent between Koidu Holdings Diamond Company and the Affected Property Owners’ Association of Tankoro Chiefdom(APOA), that saw the lives of two people and several others injured.
L.U.C Kabbia said his division worked under two command structure, “ Tankoro Chiefdom is under my area of command, but the OSD personnel deployed at Koidu Holdings do not take commands directly from me and they are armed.”
He informed the commission that he received the 14 points resolution directly addressed to him by member of APOA, he went on to say that he made several attempts to negotiate with the executive member of the Association about their peaceful demonstration, all his efforts he said went in vain.
When asked by Chairman Blyden Jenkins Johnston , who authorized Koidu Holdings to blast, Chief Superintendent Joseph Kabbia said he told senior officials of the company not to blast because the community people had planned not to move from their houses on that day.
He added that when he heard the blasting he knew that there would be problem in that area.
He stated that he gave his men tear-gas but they ran out of the canister, he called his seniors to facilitate Military Aid to Civil Power MAC-P.
It was then that the 9th infantry battalion Simbakoro in Kono district took over the security of koidu, until peace was retained.
However, members of the Affected Property Owners’ Association have been pointing fingers at the police attached to Tankoro Police Division for using live bullets on them