By Amin Kef (Ranger)
Sierra Leone’s law enforcement is on high alert following a major security breach in Freetown on Sunday, November 26, 2023. Unidentified individuals made a daring attempt to break into the military armoury at Wilberforce Barracks and proceeded to storm the Pademba Road and Special Court Correctional Centres and the Kissy and Calaba Town Police Stations. A considerable number of prisoners and suspects were illicitly freed during the incident.
The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has responded swiftly, launching a full-scale investigation led by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Monday November 27, 2023. The investigation aims to ascertain the full facts, identify the perpetrators, and understand the motive behind the audacious acts of lawlessness.
The SLP has also initiated a manhunt to capture the assailants and the unlawfully released prisoners. In a public advisory, the SLP urged all illegally freed individuals to report themselves at the nearest police station or risk facing charges for “Escape from Lawful Custody.”
In an effort to expedite the investigation, the SLP is seeking the public’s assistance. Any relevant information that could lead to a speedy conclusion of the investigation would be greatly appreciated. The leadership of the SLP has acknowledged that some of the escaped prisoners have already turned themselves in and praised their efforts.
In a bid to incentivize information sharing, the SLP has announced a reward system. A reward of Fifty Thousand New Leones (50,000 NLe) is being offered for any useful information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the assailants. Additionally, a Ten Thousand New Leones (10,000 NLe) reward has been set for information leading to the arrest of any of the prisoners or suspects that were illegally released during the incident.
The public is encouraged to contact the Sierra Leone Police Headquarters, George Street – Freetown, at 23277361070, 23279509896, or 23277410112 (CID) or the toll-free number 900 Africell.