By Lucy Kamara
Sierra Leone’s Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) has commenced the investigation into reports of violent confrontations between personnel of the Sierra Leone police (SLP) and some students of Njala University in Bo and Freetown on Thursday 23rd March 2017 resulting in one fatality and some injuries.
IPCB states in a press release on Monday 3rd April 2017 that their action is in pursuance of section 3(1) © of the Independent Police Complaints Board Regulations, 2013, which provides for an investigation into “a shooting incident where a police officer has discharged a firearm or killed a person”, and also section 3 (1) (d) which provides for an investigation into “incidents of injuries, assaults or wounding caused by a police officer”.
The investigation by the IPCB comes just after the vice president, Victor Bockarie Foh, held discussions on Monday 27th March 2017 between government and representatives of Njala University, and the Academic Staff Association of Njala University.
IPCB also states that section 9 of the IPCB Regulations, 2013 mandates the ICPB to “conduct an investigation on its own initiative or on the basis of a complaint made by a member of the public, a police officer or a public body”.
One student was shot dead and two seriously wounded after shots were allegedly fired by police personnel during the demonstration by students of Njala University on Thursday 23rd March 2017.
The students were demonstrating against a long-running lecturers’ strike which left their college closed since October 2016, but reports claim some students resorted to violence, blocking roads and setting tires on fire.