From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, The Late AIG Tamba Gbekie Laid to Rest
By Bampia Bundu
May 17, 2010, 14:08

The late Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Tamba Pujeh Gbekie was on the 16th May 2010 laid to rest at his home town in Tuiyor Village Fiama Chiefdom in Kono District. The funeral ceremony was attended by a mammoth crowd of mourners from both within and outside Sierra Leone including Government Ministers and the entire Senior police hierarchy led by Police Chief Brima Acha Kamara. Many mourners flew in for the funeral from out of the country including the late man’s two children, numerous friends as well as the mother of the publisher of Awareness Times Madam Sylvia Blyden (senior) who was also the adopted mother of the late police officer.

Following his Laying-Out at Police Headquarters on Friday 14th May 2010, the funeral procession moved from Freetown early the next morning to Koidu Town where the corpse of the late AIG Gbekie was formally received by all the Paramount Chiefs of Kono District before it was laid at the Fachima Hall in Kono Town for a night vigil. The next morning, the corpse was escorted to Tuiyor Village, Faima Chiefdom where the late man was finally buried to the sound of loud weeping and wailing especially from his dearly beloved wife, Mrs. Isatu Gbekie.

Vice President Chief Sam-Sumana views the late man’s corpse at Police Headquarters

Delivering a Tribute and Biography on behalf of the Sierra Leone Police, AIG Morie Lengoh noted that Tamba Pujeh Gbekie was born at Tuiyor Village, Fiama Chiefdom. Kono District on the 4th November 1959 to the late Mr. Aiah Foah Gbekie and Mrs. Gbea Kai Gbekie. He did his Primary Education at the St. Theresa Primary School. Freetown and later proceeded to the St. Edwards Secondary School, Kingtom, Freetown where he gained his G.C.E. O Levels. On the 23rd of March 1980, he was enlisted into the Sierra Leone Police Force as a Recruit with Force Number, 1586.

AIG Lengoh said the late man was commonly or popularly known as "T.P.G.". In order to enhance his academic potential, the late T.P. Gbekie entered the then Milton Margai Teachers College in September in 1984 and graduated with the Higher Teachers Certificate in June 1987. He also undertook many other courses in policing including at the United States Department of Justice’s Drugs Enforcement Administration, Overseas Detectives and Criminal Investigation at the West Yorkshire Police Training School, U.K.. International Commanders Progamme Centrex at Bramshill, U.K. to name but a few. Tamba Gbekie was recently awarded an Masters Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice by the University of Leicester in the U.K.

Lumley LUC Kabba Kamara helping to carry corpse on arrival at the Late man’s village of Tuiyor, Fiama, Kono where thousands of mourners poured in from all over.

As a young officer, he rose through the ranks and attained to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police on 1st November. 2004. He worked at various formations or departments within the Sierra Leone Police as follows:

CID Headquarters - 1980 – 1995. Special Investigation Bureau - 1995 – 1996, CID Headquarters again - 1996 - 2004 and he became Head of the Department. In 2003 he briefly worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone before he was deployed as Regional Police Commander for the Eastern Province in 2004 and then Regional Police Commander for the Western Area from 2005 – 2007, then AIG Professional Standards at Headquarters before being deployed as AIG Personnel and Welfare a position he held until his sudden death on Friday 7th May. 2010.

A cross-section of the mammoth crowd at the graveside in Tuiyor village yesterday evening which included Brigadier Komba S. Mondeh, all the country’s Police Chiefs, Government Ministers and elected parliamentarians from all corners of Sierra Leone.

During his thirty (30) years of policing, he won many commendations and rewards for his good work and excellent performance and had a wonderful relationship with the country’s media practitioners. The Late man was very accommodating, friendly, cheerful and affectionate. He was always prepared to assist people, no matter the condition or situation. He was a fine, dedicated and devoted officer with integrity; traits, which he demonstrated onto his death. The Tribute also informed that AIG Tamba Gbekie was a member of Board of Trustees, NASSIT, representing the Sierra Leone Police.

With an emotionally charged voice, AIG Morie Lengoh ended his tribute by saying: "T.P.G, now that you have achieved your goal, why have you decided to leave so abruptly? Why did you not wait to enjoy the fruit of your labour? You are actually a candle in the wind that burnt out quickly. May your soul rest in perfect peace".

Further tributes were given by Family Members, Friends whilst the Holy Quran was Read twice on his behalf by Senior Imams from Kono and Freetown.

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

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