A Central Guadalcanal man claims police’s attempt to question him today was political.
Israel Trevor Sibia, who is also a church pastor, says police went up to his village and threatened to lay charges against him for some personal videos he posted on the social media. His relatives claimed police arrived in force dressed in all-black uniform (PRT)
It is not clear whether the videos were connected to last Monday’s proposed planned protest in Honiara. But there was a video also posted on social media by Sibia who was very critical of the government, especially the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare. See youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McTTy98B1_c
Sibia alleges that the police had told his brother that they were going after him on the orders of a two Guadalcanal politicians. Sibia was not a home when police arrived at his village.
He however confirmed to SBMOnline that his father and brother went to the Henderson Police Station but were sent home after he did not show up.
Sibia says he had not shown up to the station because he had needed a legal representation.
Meanwhile he further claims that police had communicated through his brother that they still wanted him to show up by 4pm today or a warrant of arrest would be issued for him.
Sibia’s post of a possible arrest has gone viral on the social media with claiming that it was politically motivated.
He said: “Need your prayers just got a call from my bro (brother) whose in contact with the police that if I don’t turn myself by 4pm, I will be arrested, for what charges I don’t know, prayer.”
RSIPF clarifies involvement in politics
But in a statement tonight, the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) says it would like to clarify to General Public that police are not politically influenced by politicians to give orders and instructions for their own interests.
This came after a criticism by some individuals on social media that police are taking orders from politicians.
Supervising Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Guadalcanal Province Superintendent Edwin Sevoa says, “RSIPF organisation is an independent body and has nothing to do with politics.”
PPC Sevoa says, “I would like to make it very clear that Guadalcanal Police responded independently to a report received to formally invite two parties in Central Guadalcanal to the Henderson Police Station for a peaceful dialogue regarding a social media post.”
Superintendent Sevoa says, “Police did not intend to make any arrest to the family members of the person as claimed in the social media. Instead, both the brother and father of the person willfully call in at Henderson Police following the invite made by our officers to ensure both parties attend and resolve their differences accordingly.”
Mr Sevoa says, “Police officers are mandated to ethically act in an independent manner subject to a chain of command when carrying out any function or performing any duty authorised under the Police Act 2013.”
“Guadalcanal Police Officers in no circumstances been accorded to carry out directions, command or control by any persons or politicians as alluded in social media as they aren’t authorised persons under any other Act or the Constitution to direct, command and control the actions of our police officers,” says Mr Sevoa.
He says, “I strongly urged social media users to refrain from publishing any controversial or potentially inflammatory and unsubstantiated innuendos to politicise or jeopardise the work of our Police Officers.”
RSIPF as mandated under the constitution is the only independent and law Enforcement Agency that deals with maintenance of law and order and National Security of Solomon Islands,” Superintendent Sevoa.