Sierra Leone: At Court Martial, Army Technician Exposes Discrepancies in JPGF Ammunition Returns

Captain Crispin K. Dumbuya, the Ammunition Technical Officer attached to the Supply Service Squadron (SSS) at the Joint Logistic Unit, Murray Town, has told the Court Martial that there were discrepancies in the ammunition returns of the Joint Presidential Guard Force (JFPG) of erstwhile President Koroma.

Dumbuya, who was appointed to the said position in 2015, told the court that part of his duty was not only to give advice on the storage and management of arms and ammunition, but also on the safety and security of same.

He told the court that he had undergone several trainings and had received many certificates from China and other parts of the world, which had made him to receive a patch badge and qualified him as expert in handling arms and ammunition.

The witness told the court that as a technical officer of arms and ammunition management, he was in charge of issuing and receiving arms and ammunition.

Explaining the processes involved in the issuance of arms and ammunition, the witness said the process would start with a request made to the Chief of Defence Staff and followed through a chain of command until the letter reaches his desk.

He said after the pre-selection of the arms and ammunition to be issued as per authority, he would then call the recipient of the ammo to be re-checked before he prepared and issue a voucher that entails the quantity and type of arms and ammunition.

He stated that when returning the ammo at the SSS, the individual has to bring along his own issue voucher, together with the one that has been earlier issued to him. He said they would do a physical check on the ammo and crosscheck it to ascertain whether it matches the amount that the SSS had earlier issued.

Captain Dumbuya recalled on June 20, 2018, whilst on duty at the Joint Logistics Unit, he received a letter from Officer Commandant, SSS, authorising him to retrieve from their archives all issue vouchers between 2009 to 2012.

"I and my men then compared the issue voucher as against the receive voucher of the physical arms they returned. I then prepared a report and sent it through a chain of command," he said.

The witness explained that 10,000 rounds of 12.5 mm AA was issued but that he only received 5,755 rounds, while 4,245 was unaccounted for.

Similarly, he continue that 8,000 rounds of 14.5 mm AA was issued but that only 4,172 rounds were returned, leaving out 3,828.

"I issued 85 Rocket Propelling Grenade bomb to the former JPGF, but only 64 was received while 10 was used for level one and two trainings. 11 of those bombs were not accounted for," he said.

He said among others that, out of the 20,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ball link issued to the JFPG, 6,740 were missing while 6,000 were used for training.

"The total number of deficiency has not been recovered," the witness said.

Meanwhile, the witness said the ammunition was issued to first accused, Captain Patrick E. Kamara, who was the then assistant commander of the JPGF.

He narrated that on July 12, 2018, he was given a directive from the commandant of SSS to go to the Criminal Investigations Department and conduct an inspection on ammunition that have been discovered in cesspit close to the Presidential Lodge.

He said he carried out the physical inspection and reduced it into a report which he sent through a chain of command.

However, the report was tendered and formed part of the court records. He also identified the ammunition he conducted the physical inspection on.

Meanwhile, the witness was cross examined by Ade Macauley, Durucil Taylor and Amadu Koroma.

The accused persons SL/1246 captain Patrick Edwin Kamara, RSLAF 18165301 Warrant Officer Class one, Samuel Conteh and RSLAF 18167256 Warrant Officer Class two, Abu Bakarr Jalloh are before the court to answer to five counts ranging from conspiracy, larceny by servant, willful neglect and ordering damage to service property, willful damage of service property, to conduct that was prejudicial to the group order and military discipline, contrary to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone Act No.34 of 1961 as amended. But they have pleaded not guilty to the offences.

The men are being tried by a Judge Advocate, Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens and five Board members including Lieutenant Colonel Kerifa Kamara as president of the board, Lieutenant Colonel A.B Keita, Major Victor Momoh, Major Brima Ngavuwa Sama, and Major Sallieu Kallon.

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