From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Prisons Boss Sacked… 8 Prisons Officers Arrested
By Aruna Turay
Dec 7, 2010, 17:26

The services of the Director of Prisons Department Moses Showers have been terminated for what the Vice President considers as an unacceptable sabotage. The decision to sack Showers was reached following the escape of ‘nineteen’ prisoners from the central prison on Sunday 5th December 2010. Mr. Sampha Bilo Kamara was appointed to serve as Acting Director of the Prisons Department.

Police headquarters have also confirmed that eight prisons officers have been arrested and are presently being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

A prison officer named Salieu Jalloh is wanted by the police over the same ‘prison break’ and was still on the run as at time of going to press.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Richard Moigbeh, at an emergency press briefing, told newsmen that Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana led a high powered delegation to the Pademba Road prison in the early hours of yesterday Monday 6th December 2010.

The delegation learnt that the escape was well coordinated with the active support of the arrested prison officers, DIG Moigbeh said.

“The team also learnt that all of the usual security protocols for people entering and leaving the prison premises were willfully neglected on the day of the break by officers on duty,” he disclosed, adding

According to him, the SLP has designed mechanisms aimed at re-arresting the escapees. “The mechanisms include setting up of snap checkpoints across the country to search for these criminals, intensification of night security patrols and an increment in the numbers of intelligence collection personnel among others,” he explained 

Starting forthwith, there is going to be one senior officer from the military and another from the SLP deployed to assist the Acting Prisons Officer in decision making and other operations, it has been agreed in a meeting with the Vice President.

It has also been resolved that OSD officers be deployed at the entrance of the prison to assist the prison officers securing the entrance. They will also assist in screening visitors entering and leaving the prison premises.

DIG Moigbeh used the forum as an opportunity to inform the general public that the sum of twenty million leones (Le20,000,000) would be given to any informant who will provide information leading to the arrest of any of the escapees.

The new Prisons Boss, Mr. Sampha Bilo Kamara, assured newsmen that the escapees would be rearrested with the strong support of the SLP.

He confessed that the exact number of escapees is yet to be confirmed, adding that the nineteen are those who have been confirmed.

He explained that one thousand two hundred and ninety-two inmates are in the prison, excluding six prisoners who are hospitalized at the Kissy Mental Home and three others at hospitals in Freetown.

He assured that they will get to the root of the matter.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.