Report on Shootout in Kono

29th September, 2011
A FELONY ON C.I.D. HQ. C/R. NO. 1324/2011
On Saturday 3rd September 2011, the police in Freetown through the Inspector General of Police were informed of an incident in Kono in which the entourage of the Internal Affairs, Minister Honourable Musa Tarawallie that was proceeding to Koidu City to attend a funeral service of the Late Madam Sitta Gbondo who was the personal assistant to the Chairperson of Kono District Council Finda Diana Konomanyi were allegedly attacked by a group of people said to be wearing All Peoples Congress (APC) party colours with inscription “Youths in solidarity with Sam Sumana” . The police security guards of the minister subsequently fired rounds of gun shots within the township. Several people were said to have been assaulted and wounded whiles the vehicle in the minister’s convoy was reported to have been damaged, his mobile phone stolen, including money, property and other mobile phones belonging to members of his entourage.
ACTION TAKEN: On the receipt of this report, statements were taken from the Minister who alleges that he was attacked. Consequent upon this statement, other statements were obtained from witnesses who were with him to Kono and who also alleged that they were assaulted and wounded and property stolen. Police medical request forms were issued to the victims for treatment at the Connaught Government Hospital Freetown. They later returned with the endorsed medical report forms now attached to file.
A team of Police Officers led by Chief Superintendent of Police Suluku Conteh, left for Kono in furtherance of the investigation. Whilst at Kono the Crime Officer of Tankoro Division Detective Inspector Kemokai handed over to the team three (3) empty shells said to have been obtained at the scene of crime at the “Gun Point and Opera areas in Kono” and are now with the Exhibit Clerk of CID, Headquarters Freetown.
A total of thirty (30) witness statements were obtained both in Freetown and Kono. They include two (2) civilian members of the Minister’s entourage including the President of the motor cycles riders’ Association, Mr. Daniel Tucker was attacked. Five Mines Monitoring Officers who were in Kono to participate in the salary verification exercise of Mines Monitoring Officers’ for the month of August, 2011 were also present at the scene of crime at the Gun Point intersection and witnessed a previous meeting allegedly held to plan the attack on the Minister. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG East Mr. S.B. Kargbo), four police officers said to have been with the Local Unit Commander LUC of Tankoro Division, Alusine Max Kanu during the whole episode, the Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom P.C. Paul Ngegba Saquee the V, Alhaji Chief Komba Gbondo, the Deputy Mayor of Koidu City Aiah Bartholomew Boima Komba, the Senior District Officer, Mr. Moses Moray Gbettu, the Kono District Council Chairperson Madam Finda Diana Konomanyi, the Commanding Officer for the Ninth Battalion stationed in Koidu, Major Alex Karim Kamara, Isata Kamara Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Congress of the All Peoples Congress Party (APC) in constituency 21 Councilor Sahr Alie Thorlie of Koidu New Sembehun City, the Hon. Emmanuel William Tommy, Leader of the Minor Party in Parliament, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Mr. Sahr George Pessima, Secretary to the Cabinet of the Government of Sierra Leone, Dr. Tamba Alpha Gbetewama Economist and also Development Adviser to the Tankoro Chiefdom and other people including the motor cycle riders who were present at either of the scenes of crime at Gun Point and Opera areas in Koidu.
A total of seventeen (17) caution statements were also obtained. They include that of the Local Unit Commander of Tankoro Division Mr. Alusine Max Kanu who is alleged to have deliberately neglected to provide security, for the Minister of Internal Affairs Hon. Musa Tarawallie and entourage, seven (7) police officers who are security guards to the Minister and who escorted him to Kono and were alleged to have fired rounds of gun shots in Kono on the day of the attack on the Minister and his convoy, and nine (9) of some of the alleged perpetrators who were present at the time of the visit of the investigation team to Kono and who included the alleged ring leaders, Alie Abu Khalil alias Balay Balay, Adamu Ezeh, Tamba Kaibanja alias “T” Boy, Mohamed Serry Fofoh alias Cyborg, Kai Lawrence Mbayoh alias KLM and others.
BRIEF FACTS: The fact of the matter is that the Personal Assistant to the Chairperson of Kono District Council, Madam Finda Diana Konomanyi, Yei Sitta Gbondo died on 28th August 2011, at the Choithram Hospital.
The responsibility of the funeral was placed on Finda Diana Konomanyi who together with the Gbondo family agreed to convey the corpse to Kono for a befitting burial, on Saturday 3rd September, 2011.
In view of this, Finda Diana Konomanyi invited the Minister Honourable Musa Tarawallie and other dignitaries from Freetown to witness the burial ceremony of their daughter (Yei Sitta Gbondo), which was to take place on Sunday 4th September, 2011.
Prior to the burial ceremony, on Thursday 1st August, 2011, Finda Diana Konomanyi received information from an anonymous caller that she was to be attacked, because ‘T’-Boy Kaibanja and group believed that her convoy would include some Ministers of Government and particularly the Minister of Internal Affairs Honourable Musa Tarawallie, who they believed was coming to be introduced by her to the people of Kono as the running mate to his Excellency the President come 2012 General Election.
On receipt of this information, Finda Diana Konomanyi, then passed on this information to the Minister of Internal Affairs who in turn relayed this information to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Eastern Region Mr. Sorie Brima Kargbo on Friday 2nd September, 2011 requesting him to put security measures in place, as he was traveling to Kono to attend the said funeral ceremony and that he obtained information that some people in Kono were planning to obstruct his visit to attend the said funeral.
The A.I.G. Mr. Sorie Brima Kargbo informed the Local Unit Commander (LUC) of Tankoro Division Mr. Alusine Max Kanu about the visit of the Minister Hon. Musa Tarawallie to Kono on Saturday 3rd September 2011, informed him about the information regarding the alleged plan to obstruct the Minister’s visit and further instructed him to provide adequate security for the minister, and to meet the minister and his convoy at Bumpeh in Kono and escort them to Koidu. On that same day, upon the request of the Minister for the LUC’s telephone number, the AIG East then submitted the telephone number as thus 076-710-736.

The Minister called the LUC in respect of his journey to Kono who gave him assurance that security was not a problem as he the LUC was in control of the security situation in Koidu where the Minister was to visit. The National President of the Motor Cycle Riders Union Daniel Tucker was also part of the Minister’s convoy, but whose main purpose of going to Kono was to sensitize the entire membership of the union about the national motor cycle election, and also about the newly designed reflective apron and the use of helmet when riding.
On his way to Kono on the 3rd September, 2011, the Minister made several telephone calls to the AIG East Mr. Sorie Brima Kargbo and the Local Unit Commander Tankoro Division Mr. Alusine Max Kanu regarding his security in Kono and told members of his entourage that the police officers mentioned above had assured him of his security in Kono. The Minister had conviction from his discussion with the police that he would be safe in Kono and thus proceeded to Kono as planned. On reaching Mambudu Checkpoint in Kono the Minister was surprised not to have met the LUC-Max Kanu there as he had believed that Max Kanu had agreed to escort his convoy of vehicle from that point to Koidu city. Nonetheless he proceeded to Koidu after fruitless endeavour to contact Max Kanu on his mobile telephone and on reaching ’555 Spot Area’ his convoy was met by a group of motor cycle riders onboard their motor cycles and who were in a jubilant mood, apparently to welcome their National Leader who was onboard one of the vehicles in the Minister’s convoy. At this point, the said National President of the Motor Cycle riders Association Mr. Daniel Tucker alighted from the vehicle that was carrying him to Kono and boarded one of the motor cycles in order for him to be taken to the District Motorcycle Union Office in Koidu, ahead of the Minister’s convoy. On approaching the intersection leading to the centre of Koidu at a place called Gunpoint, they saw a group of people claded in white “T” Shirts with red inscription apparently in support of Vice President Sam Sumana on them. It was then that the alleged attack on the Minister’s convoy took place.
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE;_ There is a general consensus among witnesses that on 3rd September, 2011, the convoy of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Musa Tarawallie was attacked at Gunpoint intersection at the Opera area in the Centre of Koidu by men claded in White “T” Shirt with red inscriptions apparently bearing the name of the Vice President of Sierra Leone Sam Sumana.
According to the witness statement of a group of mines monitoring officers who were present at the Crime Scene at Gunpoint area where the initial attack took place namely:
1. Santigie Edmond Yamba Bangura
2. Edmond Locosy
3. Sorie Yillah
4. Mustapha Kamara
5. Momoh Mohamed Kamara
6. Abu Sisoko Kallay
7. Miss Isata Kamara and one
8. Mohamed Komeh all collectively named the following people who are alleged to have been amongst the people that

riotously conducted themselves at Gunpoint intersection area, throwing missiles wielding weapons (knives, matchetes, sticks etc), robbing, assaulting and wounding members of the Minister’s convoy. These suspects are as follows:-
1. Adamu Ezeh
2. Tamba Kaibanja
3. Mikay
4. M.P. Alie
5. Mohamed Serry Fofoh alias Cyborg
6. Alias Lebanese
7. Salman
8. Alias SLA
9. Simbo
10. Kai Lawrence Mbvayoh alias KLM
11. Khalilu Fofanah alias Kalypso
12. Alias Daklala
Of this list of twelve (12) suspects mentioned above, there is corroborative evidence with regards the riotous conduct offence against the following suspects:-
1. Adamu Ezeh
2. Tamba Kaibaja alias ‘T’ Boy
3. Khalilu Fofanah alias Calypso
4. Mukay
5. M.P. Allieu
6. Mohamed Serry Fofoh alias Cyborg
7. Alias Lebanese and
8. Alias SLA
The remaining four (4) suspects namely:-
1. Salman
2. Simbo
3. Kai Lawrence Mbayoh alias KLM
4. Alias Daklala were seen by certain witnesses as follows:

1. Edmond Locosy
2. Abu Sisoko Kakay
3. Mustapha Kamara respectively
The offences of assault and wounding can be established against the following suspects:-
1. M.P. Alie
2. Alias Little whilst there is evidence of Robbery with aggravation against M.P. Alie and Mukay with regards the stolen mobile phone of the Minister.
Evidence has also been obtained that the attack on the Minister’s convoy was preplanned at the residence of Abu Alie Khalil alias Balay, Balay at 22, Suku Tamba Street Koidu on Friday 2nd September 2011. Present at this meeting were said to be:-
1. Tamba Kaibanja
2. Adamu Ezeh
3. Mukay
4. M.P. Alie
5. Kai Lawrence Mbayoh alias KLM
6. Alias Lebanese
7. Alias SLA
8. Salman
9. Simbo
10. Alie Gunpoint
11. Desmond Musa
12. Abu Tholley and
13. Sahr Sam
It is clear from the evidence of the Local Unit Commander Mr. Alusine Max Kanu himself and also that of the AIG East Mr. S.B. Kargbo, that both Max Kanu were aware of the visit of the Hon. Minister Musa Tarawallie since Friday 2nd September, 2011 and that it was to happen on the 3rd September, 2011. Also the Minister in his statement ascertained he told the AIG East that he had gained information that some youths in Kono were planning to attack him if he goes to Kono as planned. This assertion by the Minister was corroborated by the AIG East Mr. S.B. Kargbo who also stated that he passed on the same information to the Local Unit Commander Mr. Alusine Max Kanu on the same date in question when the Minister told him about the information. Mr. Alusine Max Kanu however denied receiving any such information as stated above.

Never-the-less, the chronological sharing of the information of the impending attack on the Minister as in evidence, as passed on from the anonymous caller to Finda Diana Konomanyi to the Hon. Minister Musa Tarawallie and then to the AIG East militate against the denial of LUC Alusine Max Kanu that he did not receive such information as stated by the AIG East to him as per his statement that he (AIG) informed Alusine Max Kanu of the said information. However, there is no direct evidence that LUC Alusine Max Kanu agreed with the Minister to meet him at Mambudu Checkpoint as stated by the Minister for the purpose of escorting him to Koidu, since the discussion with regards the issue took place on telephone.
Never-the-less, at each point of the alleged discussion on the phone with LUC Alusine Max Kanu by the Minister, he the Minister would pass the status of the alleged discussion on the issue of the security of his security and that of his entourage at Kono to members of his convoy who attested to that fact at intermittent places along the route to Kono. What is evident on the issue of the security of the Minister and his entourage is that Alusine Max Kanu negligently played down the importance of the security of the minister, as he himself has stated in his statement, that at some point in time before the arrival of the minister in Kono and whilst at the house where the corpse was laid, he has gained similar information on the pending attack on the Minister and his entourage but that he was unable to pass that information to either the Minister or his immediate boss the AIG Eastern Region Mr. S.B. Kargbo, because according to him the Airtel Telephone connection in Kono was down at the time and that he had no other alternative means of communication at the time as he was only using the said Airtel connection.
However, there is no shred of evidence that LUC Alusine Max Kanu was involved in any criminal activity as per claims by the Minister and others that he was involved in marshalling the youths who riotously attacked the Minister and his entourage, and that he (Max Kanu) was hailed by these youths at Opera Centre when he was going to find out about lodging issues for the Minister and entourage.
The police security guards to the Minister of Internal Affairs Hon. Musa Tarawallie did fire an uncertain amount of gun shots into the air both at Gunpoint Intersection area and at the Opera areas also in a bid to escape with the Minister and his entourage as stated by P.C. 12966 Banya, G., and P.C. 12547 Pessima R. who were two of the security guards that escorted the Minister to Kono and who admitted to have fired the shots. There is sufficient evidence from witnesses including Abu Sisko Kakay that the number of attackers surpass greatly that of the Minister’s guards and thus the necessity for the guards to fire gun shots to ward off the attackers and take the Minister to safety was appropriate. What is evident about the Minister’s visit to Kono on 3rd September, 2011 that he has gone to sympathize with the deceased Yei Sitta Gbondo’s family and friends. It is interesting to note that inspite of the evidence accrued by the investigation all of the aforementioned suspects from whom statements were obtained denied all of the allegations, stating that they did not take part in the attack on the Minister and his convoy, and that they did not hold any meeting to plan an attack on the Minister but that the said planning meeting was only to discuss issues to the burial of the late Yei Sitta Gbondo.
CONCLUSION:- The attack on the Minister in Kono as stated above was an isolated incident in the general security

situation in Kono District. However, apart from the criminal aspect of this matter the team was able to learn that substantial amount of people in Kono especially some of the political authorities in Kono District are of the idea that there is divide between members of the All Peoples Congress Party based on the belief that there is no good relationship between the Chairperson of the Kono District Council Madam Finda Diana Konomanyi and that of the Hon. Vice President of Sierra Leone Hon. Sam Sumana. Considering that both of them have substantial following in Kono, this situation is affecting the general security in Kono. It is important to note that both of the two people mentioned above hail from Kono and thus amplifying the said divide.
Finally, a video clip on the said attack on the Minister and his convoy was shown to the team by the Minister and is said to have been captured by an SLBC Crew man who accompanied the Minister to Kono on that fateful day. The inclusion of such evidence in this matter cannot be ascertained by the team because of the technicalities involved in presenting technological evidence in Sierra Leone.
RECOMMENDATION It is recommended that the case and enquiry file on this matter be sent to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for his perusal and legal advice.
Faithfully submitted: