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Fatal Clash? Okada Riders vs. Police

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Clash between the Sierra Leone police and bike riders in mile 91 has left at least one dead. The northern town of Sierra Leone yesterday witnessed uproar occasioning motor bike riders clashing with police. We Yone Correspondent on the ground said the bike riders went on the rampage because ‘‘we have been harassed by the police’’. One of the riders said they have been under serious police threats as on a daily basis, they have been arrested by the police on what they described as flimsy charges.

‘‘This is already becoming a better which is now unbearable,’’ the rider said

‘‘We tried bike riding because we must to feign for our living. We cannot continue to be under threats while doing our trade,’’ one of the bike riders angrily shouted. Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone police has reacted to the incident in a statement released by its communication team.

SIERRA LEONE POLICE NEWS UPDATE

 In the early hours of today (12th April 2022), the Police at Mile 91 were faced with a public disorder situation which lasted for about four hours. This came against the refusal of the Police to release all five charged accused persons who were in the custody of the Mile 91 Police Station for traffic related infractions. These and other seven accused persons for various other offences were already court bound. Following the pleas for the release of all the five accused persons, the Local Unit Commander magnanimously agreed to release two among the five, in the spirit of community policing; but that gesture was turned down. The sooner the Regent Chief of Yoni Mamaila Chiefdom – Yusif Barrie, who led the plea on behalf of the bike riders left the office of the LUC, commercial bike riders started flooding the Station. The Local Unit Commander further engaged them and still agreed to release two of the accused persons; but the gesture was again turned down. They continued to insist on having all five of them released which the LUC stoutly refused. While all the charged accused persons were loaded into the Police vehicle and then conveyed to Magburaka Magistrate Court, the commercial motor bike riders chased after the vehicle, pelting stones at the Police and accused persons. One of the accused persons on board was hit with a stone and he sustained serious injury. Nevertheless, the vehicle painstakingly drove off to Magburaka with all of them, for their first court appearance. The commercial bike riders later regrouped and attacked the Station, pelting it with stones and locally made petrol bombs – with the sole intention to over-run and burn it down. They were however strongly repelled by the Police who fired teargas cannisters to disperse them. They then quickly went on the rampage and started attacking anything that was of Police interest within the township and nearby villages. They also blocked the Masiaka/Bo highway and the road leading to Magburaka. With Police reinforcements from Moyamba and Magburaka, the situation was finally put under control and calm was once more restored to the township and all illegal blockages erected by the rioters were removed. The Police made two arrests and six motorbikes left behind by fleeing rioters are presently with the Police as exhibits. More information will be released to the public as and when available. Sierra Leone Police Media and Public Relations Department, Police Headquarters, George Street, Freetown. April 12, 2022 . +23277361070/+23277507955 .