Confirmed sources reveal there is a report of motorbike theft at the Moriba Town Police Division with the complainant being a Sierra Rutile mines worker. The incident happened on Saturday, February 3, 2018. By Monday, February 5, 2018, several arrests were carried out by police. Most of the arrests were of innocent citizens caught in a nightmarish incidence of cannibalism and ritual murders.
According to police intelligence, the motorbike was plying the Kabati – Mattru axis and two police officers, a CID and an OSD together with the complainant embarked on the raid with the consent of the Local Unit Commander (LUC).
About 200 meters from Kabati and at around 8:00 pm, the Raiders deployed on a narrow table bridge. Then came councilor Jacob Villa and another guy to Kabati on their way from Mokaba to Mattru.
According to Teddy Tommy, he requested a ride from Councilor Villa to Gendema, his village, which is few kilometers away from Kabati.
Councillor Villa agrees, and the two rode on the motorbike.
On their way, they met some unknown person on the bridge who tried stopping them. With the fear of cannibalism and ritual killings in the area, Councilor Villa rode off amidst a scuffle that saw Teddy Tommy removed from the motorbike.
Councilor Villa proceeded without Teddy Tommy. Announcing along the way, he stopped to inform residents of Gendema that cannibals or ritual murderers have removed Teddy, their brother, from his motorbike, while riding from Kabati. He suggested that able-bodied young men must rush to the scene to save him from any situation.
Also, another motorbike from Gendema ran past the scene and reported the matter in Kabati, the closest town.
In a few minutes, the youths of Kabati rushed to the scene with machetes, believing the raiders were ritual murderers. They were taken to the Kabati Town Chief for questioning until, according to the chief, somebody else gave orders that the raiders should be tortured believing they were cannibals or ritual murderers.
Allegedly, a rescue team immediately arrived at the scene of the incident. They were also targeted as accomplices to the crime just before the Paramount Chief of Nongoba Bullom, PC Jonathan Kabakaba Tucker, reached the place from a private engagement and appealed against the torture. Chief Tucker brought the two victims to Mattru Jong, the chiefdom headquarters town of Jong where the incident took place.
THE WHISK TO MATTRU
As they left, there was a widespread rumor in Mattru that three cannibals/ritual murderers caught in the act in Kabati. One of the captured persons was an OSD police officer wearing OSD uniform trousers and, are being whisked to Mattru by Chief Tucker.
This information created tension and residents of Mattru rushed to the Senehun Ferry crossing point at around 10:00 pm.
Onboard the ferry at Mattru Jong, an uncontrollable mob was already waiting on the Mattru side. The Ferry operators have to stop midway on the river to prevent further damage on the vehicle and, inflicting further harm on the officers and the motorbike theft complainant.
Except for Teddy Tommy, all attempts by both stakeholders and officers of Mattru police division to rescue the alleged captures were futile. It took the intervention of Issa Sei Karim, the chairman of Jong Bike Riders to temporarily calm the situation. On the orders of police and stakeholders, he boarded the ferry to assure the security of all aboard.
Across the Mattru side of the river, was a multitude awaiting the arrival of the alleged cannibals and ritual murderers. The waited till dawn and, the population kept increasing exponentially in the morning. On that fateful Sunday morning, all avenue was exploited to rescue the victims and provide treatment in Mattru. It was a risky proposition. Instead, they took them to Sierra Rutile via Gbongeh, Gondama plant site, and MoSenessie Junction.
ARREST OF SUSPECTED RIOTERS IN MATTRU AND THEIR DETENTION IN BO
On Monday, 05 – 02 -18, a team of police officers from Bo visited Mattru Jong. At a stakeholders meeting, the District Youth Leader, Victor Campbell, was informed by youths that police were arresting people. The report alarmed the people, and they expressed dissatisfaction over the action of the visiting police team.
Among the accused rioters detained were ten men and two women. One ladies was Rebecca Nyukeh. As seen in this photo, Rebecca’s face was battered in police custody. The following day, the ten males accused of being rioters were whisked to Bo via Moriba Town. With the intervention of the Paramount Chief, Rebecca and the other lady were not escorted out of town.
The police allegedly made three more arrests on their way from Mattru to Moriba Town as there are presently thirteen detainees regarding the matter at the Bo central police.
CLARION CALL FOR INTERVENTION
As residents of Jong and Imperi Chiefdoms anxiously await the intervention of relevant stakeholders and national institutions for a peaceful resolution of the matter, the people are looking forward to the timely intervention of civil society, human right organizations, and all peace-loving citizens.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY
a) The government must act on the concerns of Jong Chiefdom authorities to restore confidence in the police regarding the persistent incidents of ritual murders and mysterious disappearances amounting to about nine cases in the last decade.
b) Threats of more arrests to be carried out about the Kabati and Mattru incidents must be handled with fairness as residents feel harassed and intimidated at this crucial time of political activities.
c) A neutral body (committee) independent of SLP may do more justice to investigate the incident without sentiment impartiality and lay bare the truth both the police the Jong residents deserve to prevent recurrence of such unfortunate incident.
Story by Dito and reporting from Mattru Jong. With Editing by SLPP Today staff. This is a developing story…