23 Motorcyclists Charged

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Family and friends of the late Samuel Selleh in Ganta with the casket bearing his remains for burial

In the recent riot over body of slain colleague in Ganta

The Ganta Police Detail has arrested 23 motorcyclists for their alleged involvement in rioting and vandalizing the police station and the Gompa Funeral Home. They are charged with 8 counts awaiting court trial it the Ganta Magisterial Court.

The counts include rioting, criminal mischief, theft of property, menace, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation and simple assault.

“The 23 cyclists have already been forwarded to the Ganta Magisterial Court awaiting trial; we are still in search of the rest,” said CSD Commander Redeemer Toe.

The Crime Services Department in Ganta is also inviting the head of the cyclists Union, the father of the late Samuel Selleh, and a senior member of the group named ‘Concern Nimbaians’, for questioning.

Those mentioned are believed to be connected to the burial activities that resulted in rioting and vandalizing of the police station and the funeral home.

On Friday, November 27, 2020, commercial motorcyclists in Ganta went on a rampage and brought normal activities in the city to a standstill while preparing to bury their colleague who was allegedly killed in March 2020 by a police officer in a fistfight.

The motorcyclists, headed by their union president, Emmanuel Sarty, along with families of the deceased, began the funeral arrangements by soliciting funds from the cyclists to enable them to conduct the burial.

In the process, the motorcyclists temporarily blocked the road while collecting money to help the family. Followign the removal of the body on November 27, violence erupted when the family refused to accept the body on grounds that it was not the body of their son.

After the body was removed from the Gompa Funeral Home with the instruction of his father and taken to the family cemetery, the family opened the coffin for final viewing when the father raised an alarm that it was not his son’s body.

Before the removal, the father, Mr. Saye Selleh, had earlier instructed his wife and family to view the body. However, after his instructions were carried out and the family signed the document to claim the body, the father rejected the body; thus creating tension among the motorcyclists.

The proprietor of the funeral home, David Mulbah, told reporters his funeral home did not give a different body to the family as was alleged. According to him, the body given to the family was that of the late Samuel Selleh, which was identified by some family members before it was removed.

However, following the contention raised by the father of the deceased, the angry motorcyclists and family members took the body back to Ganta from Gbuyee where it was taken. Reaching the police station in anger, the crowd began throwing stones in an attempt to damage the building. They then took the body to the Gompa Funeral Home, demanded the “real body” of their colleague and vandalized the entire building, causing pandemonium in the entire city.

They broke the windows of the showroom of the funeral home, and police put the cost of the damage at US$7,470.

After the refusal of the funeral home to re-accept the body, Ganta City Mayor, Amos Nyan Glehbogeah Suah, ordered the removal of the body to the family’s home where it spent the night before burial on Saturday, November 28, 2020.

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