But the Local Unit Commander of Panlap Police Division – Chief Superintendent of Police Gibril Mohammad Turay aka GMT said “I wanted to effect the court order, but the request was not sent directly to me, but to the AIG’s representative in the office of the Undersheriff”.
In a whatsapp message, the LUC’s responded this way: “That request was never addressed to me directly but to AIG’s representative of the undersheriff of the high court. In such matters it’s him whose approval is key. Otherwise, if there is a fight it is the LUC that will be responsible and deemed to have acted beyond the scope of my responsibilities. I was willing but because that matter was at some point taken from me by the AIG, transferred to the regional investigations bureau, made me to be hesitant. I will have always been asked whose authority I used in the event of an inquiry”.
But the Acting AIG had earlier responded that he did not receive a letter from the court. Also he said the court did not go through the legal procedure for the eviction of the College of Management and Administration (COMA) – a process he said should have involved the High Court and the office of the Undersheriff.
The Acting Assistant Inspector General of Police having thundered that no police officer under his command dare mounts an operation without his strict orders, should now be able to answer the question – ‘under whose order did the police from Rogbaneh Police Division acted to safely effect the eviction order on the tenants without any fracas neither any resistance as he speculated?
The defiance of court order by the police in Makeni comes after a ruling by the magistrate court in Bombali, over a four – hectare land dispute between the Paramount Chief of Konikay Barina chiefdom, Tonkolili district – Alhaji Alimamy Sorie Conteh Kathenkeh II and – Aisha Yeama Conteh from the United States.
In an appeal by the paramount chief after been defeated at the local court at Ropollo, Makeni in 2015, the honourable court presided over the matter for almost two years, and ruled in favour of Aisha, Thursday, June 1st 2017. It ordered her immediate possession of the property; the eviction of tenants (COMA) with immediate effect; and for the paramount chief to appeal in within a week – if it pleased him.
Sources say the defiance of the court order was to undermine the eviction order in favour of the paramount chief so as to skillfully give way for an injunction on the order prior to his appeal before the seven days expiration. Eventually the court acted smartly, and the tenants were peacefully evicted; using police officers from the Rogbaneh Police Division, Tuesday, June 6th 2017, a day before expiration of the court order.