Lieutenant Colonel Sheik Ahmed Sandi, Commanding Officer at Joint Provost Unit, recounted before Judge Advocate Mark Ngegba and Board Members a harrowing ordeal where he was compelled by Amadu Koita Makolo to liberate prisoners.

Sandi testified that he received a directive from Koita to breach the prison gate and release all inmates while under duress, as he was held at gunpoint.

Providing a detailed account during examination led by Colonel Mohamed S Kamara, Sandi revealed the events of November 25, 2023. He disclosed receiving orders to convene at Cockeril Headquarters after being informed by Lieutenant Colonel Sannoh, the Commander in Charge of Operations at Murray Town, late in the evening.

Earlier that day, Sandi had detained three soldiers for assault, who were subsequently ordered for release to partake in an operational patrol due to security concerns of an impending attack on Freetown.

Upon arrival at Cockeril Headquarters, Sandi encountered Koita, who pressured him to divulge sensitive information, including the password to his phone. Despite his reluctance, Sandi complied, underlining the coercive atmosphere.

Under Koita’s instructions, Sandi contacted various unit commanders, urging them to vacate their posts to accommodate the Presidential Guards Force, further illustrating the extent of Koita’s authority and influence over military operations.

As events unfolded, Sandi found himself amidst a chaotic scene, witnessing attacks on police vehicles and being coerced to lead the assailants to Pademba Road prison.

At the prison gate, amidst gunfire and tension, Koita demanded the release of prisoners, specifically singling out retired Captain Milton, who subsequently fled.

Sandi’s narrative detailed his calculated escape, involving strategic interactions with fellow soldiers, including Captain Milton, to ensure his survival amidst the chaos orchestrated by Koita.

His eventual return to safety at Cockeril Headquarters underscored the gravity of the situation, as Sandi recounted his encounters with fellow military personnel, highlighting the complex dynamics of loyalty and survival in the face of coercion.