• August 30, 2023

Police Shelve ‘Murder’ Investigation… PRINCE HARDING IN HOT WATERS

Police Shelve ‘Murder’ Investigation…  PRINCE HARDING IN HOT WATERS
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After over two years of waiting for justice, concerned Sierra Leoneans including some rights groups have asked FORUMNEWS-SL about the case of the late Mohamed Koroma, alias Don Pole, who was a driver for former SLPP National Chairman, Dr Prince Alex Harding. They informed FORUMNEWS-SL that the police seem to have shelved the ‘murder’ investigation and have been given them the run-around since.

Don Pole’s case is a sad story of how young and impressionable youths who are used by politicians or those considered as the ‘high and mighty’, who later ditches them after their usefulness had run its course.

It can be recalled that an allegation was made against the then SLPP National Chairman, Dr Harding that he had ordered one of his state assigned security guards details, named Julius Amara, to shoot Don Pole, who many say, including Harding, was an active SLPP thug who later became a driver for the doctor.

According to a video recording of Mohamed Koroma, aka Don Pole, from his hospital bed, the young man who would not leave the hospital alive, narrated that he had been with Dr Harding since the beginning but that since the SLPP won the 2018 elections he had received no assistance from Dr Harding, two years after the fact.

Don Pole narrated that he worked as security and driver for Harding and would sleep at his house. He said he spent so much time with Dr Harding that since he left his wife six months pregnant he was unable to visit her, even when she was giving birth because of his commitment to Dr Harding and his job.

Pole said when Dr Harding got promoted he helped others out, but not him. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when he was about to christen his new-born son he named Prince Alex Koroma after Dr Prince Alex Harding.

Forced to seek assistance after the arrival of his son, Koroma said Jimmy Batilo Songa, then vying for the party’s National chairmanship against Harding, donated OLe1 million, a money which he used to name his son after Harding, who he claimed was paying him OLe200,000 per month although the minimum wage was OLe500,000.

Since the new job was not forthcoming and since they were getting older with family responsibilities, Don Pole and his friend Hassan decided to quit Dr Harding’s services and put their lot behind Jimmy Batilo Songa who had showed so much concern for their situation.

Don Pole claimed that their switching sides, not political party, from Dr Harding to Batilo in the heat of a party chairmanship campaign caused fear in Dr Harding, who he claimed was worried that Don Pole and Hassan knew his secrets, for which he was haunting them and wanted to harm them.

Situation came to a hilt when during a party meeting at the SLPP head office a scuffle broke out where someone from the crowd spilled water laced with feces and urine on Dr Harding.

Don Pole and Hassan said after his deluge in “number one and two” Dr Harding laid eyes on them in the crowd and quickly alleged that Don Pole was responsible for the water laced with feces and urine to be spilled on him.

Don Pole and Hassan claimed that it was at this point that Dr Harding ordered his security detail, an OSD officer, to shoot Pole, who said the bullets entered his back and exited his stomach.

Strangely, Don Pole said that before he was shot, after he had left Dr Harding’s services and he – Don Pole was busy supporting Batilo Songa, Dr Harding’s wife had allegedly gone to Don Pole’s village and warned his family that he should stay away from Dr Harding, whom she alleged, would kill Don Pole. His family didn’t take the threat lightly but had no one to turn to against such a larger than life personality as Dr Harding on the nation’s political, social and academic stages.

Don Pole narrated that he was warned by his family and other well-meaning people to stay away from Dr Harding, who he claimed was responsible for him (Pole) being locked up several times on flimsy charges.

The young man said he was attempting to leave after Dr Harding’s unfortunate experience at the hands of his own partisans when he was shot by Harding’s OSD officer at his (Harding’s) behest.

‘Since then Batilo Songa had me in hospital. It is as if I didn’t suffer for this party. President Bio knows Don Pole. He knows me today, he knows me tomorrow,’ he said, adding that while they all know him none of them had visited him.

Pole said that after that comment he was paid a surprise visit by President Bio who promised to settle his hospital bills. Sadly, Don Pole never recovered from his operation, and was pronounced dead on Saturday, 6 November 2021.

The autopsy report says the young man died from bullet wounds while the police report alleged that he was stabbed, which has caused quite a stir among those who know how Don Pole died and from what.

News of his death allegedly at the command of Dr Harding spread like wildfire. Harding was subsequently arrested and spent a night at CID, but was granted bail and released to a hero’s welcome by his supporters.

At the CID, Harding did not deny knowing Don Pole. He claimed that Pole was a young man that was brought to him to be a driver. He said the young man could not drive for which Hassan was his go to guy. Harding sad that he started having issues with Don Pole because the young man was violent and would routinely get in trouble attacking others, even SLPP members and supporters, wherever they went.

The then SLPP chairman said he paid Don Pole “Le1 million for doing nothing!” and had a book where such payments were detailed. Harding called down curses on himself from heaven if he had anything to do with Don Pole’s demise, saying that he was being prosecuted for the SLPP. Harding said he had no powers to order for his security to shoot anyone, an accusation he called reckless and unimaginable.

Harding said had the young man been shot he wouldn’t have survived, claiming that Don Pole tried to kill him. He said his blood pressure had gone up because he alleged that Don Pole had threatened to ambush him after his release.

Dr Harding claimed that Jimmy Batilo Songa had put Don Pole and whoever was responsible up to spilling water with “piss and excreta” on him. The mixture he said had made him faint, adding that Don Pole tried hitting him.

It must be recalled that Don Pole had said he and Dr Harding were not in the same space after the “water” was wasted on Harding.

Dr Harding claimed that during the fracas Abu Abu, Regional Minister North, had his arm broken.

Narrating her story, Don Pole’s mom said she had warned her son to quit Dr Harding after Harding’s wife’s visit and the threat she had made. She added that on 29 June she was called and informed that her son had been shot.

Don Pole’s mother said she was told at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that her son had been stabbed, but that at the hospital she saw bullet wounds on her son, adding that even the autopsy report says Don Pole died from being shot. In all a total of three bullets were reportedly pulled out of Don Pole.

Narrating his own story, Don Pole’s friend Hassan said Prince Harding had it in for them because they had left him for Batilo Songa. He said he was there when Prince Harding claimed they were responsible for throwing piss and feces on him for which he ordered Officer Julius Amara to shoot Don Pole. ‘Amara shot Pole right in front of us,’ he added.

Hassan claimed that Prince Harding had wanted him and Don Pole, claiming that Harding had had him jailed on several occasions. Hassan said he had a case to answer at Court No. 2 from Don Pole’s case as the former Inspector General of Police, Ambrose Michael Sovula, had taken him to court for saying that Don Pole was shot while the police claimed he was stabbed.

Not long after Harding was released, the SLPP held a convention at Bo in December 2021 where Dr Prince Harding unceremoniously selected and named President Bio party chairman and president, thereby handing over his position to the principal.

Since then it has been alleged that the case has been shelved as it was never taken to court by the IGP, which case concerned citizens have called on President Bio for justice for Don Pole.

Meanwhile, Dr Alex Prince Harding continues to maintain his innocence and has been appointed to a new government post. FORUMN EWS-SL only hope that the leadership of the Sierra Leone Police IGP Fayie Sellu is fully aware about the long ‘delayed’ of investigation into Don Pole’s and we hope Mr Sellu will do the needful.

…to be continued in subsequent editions

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