A supporter and sympathizer of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was on Wednesday 30 November 2022 mercilessly beaten, stripped naked and asked to dance in view of the public with charcoal rubbed on his entire body.

Alpha Gbla, 30, and father of two was accused of stealing a neighbour’s goat, and he was shamed and humiliated by people in his home town of Mara, Mara Chiefdom, Bombali District, under the command of a local Chief believe to be a member and supporter of the main opposition, All People’s Congress.

On November 30th 2022 around 3am, Gbla, an SLPP party card carrier was accused by one Abdul Borbor of the same village of stealing a goat, an allegation he denied. On the day of the alleged incident, Gbla said, he was coming from a musical show in the village, when he was accused of stealing the goat.

“While on my way from the dance hall to see LK, a friend of mine who was sleeping so I could lend a cutlass because I have to go to work by 5am, I was attacked by Borbor who accused me of stealing a goat,” the victim said.

Gbla said they were on this altercation with the said Borbor when James Fullah, the Section Chief of Mara Section and other stakeholders rushed to the scene and ordered for his detention in the chiefdom cell.

Though he denied the allegation and asked that they took him to the nearest police station, the Section Chief, he said, insisted he must be handcuffed and taken to the Chiefdom cell.

“Before I could explain my own side of the story, a group of boys under the command of the Section Chief manhandled me and put me on handcuffs,” Gbla alleges.

During the course of taking him to the cell, Gbla said, he was beaten up and forcefully pushed into the cell.

“The Chief then ordered his boys to pour water into the cell so I couldn’t even sleep,” he said.

In the morning and in the full view of the public, the victim said, the Section Chief ordered that his clothes be removed, rub his entire body with charcoal and asked to dance in the village. In a video that is in possession of this reporter, the victim was seen stripped naked with handcuff on both hands, while a group of villagers were seen singing behind him.

James Fullah, the Section Chief refused to comment on the allegations. Fullah said, he can only comment when the Paramount Chief, whom he describe as his boss, is around.

Gbla and his family are said to be supporters of the ruling, and several times report says the family has been under attack from the Chiefs in the Chiefdom. The allegation that he stole a goat and the inhuman way he was treated, he said, can not be unconnected to the family’s loyalty to the SLPP. Gbla is currently responding to treatment in a local hospital in Makeni city.

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