56 remanded for riotous conduct
February 12, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
After spending over ten days at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Freetown, 56 accused persons have been remanded at the Male Correctional Centre following their maiden appearance for riotous conduct during the nomination of the Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates of All Peoples Congress.
The accused persons were last Friday before Magistrate Santigie Bangura, presiding at the Siaka Steven Street Magistrates’ Court No.1.
55 of the accused pleaded guilty to the offence of riotous conduct, but the first accused, Amara Kamara, charged with wounding with intent, denied the charge.
According to Police Prosecutor, Superintendent Samuel Kamara, first accused Amara Kamara a.k.a. Sugar, who did not take a plea, wounded Inspector Salieu Kamara with intent to murder him.
He also alleges that Sorie Ibrahim Koroma a.k.a. Shek, Daniel Kamara, Mohamed Foday Kallon, Yusifu Sesay, Alimamy Kamara, and 50 others, on 26th January, at Campbell Street in Freetown, behaved in riotous manner, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
In his plea of mitigation on behalf of the accused, Lawyer Mohamed Pious Sesay, pleaded with the magistrate to temper justice with mercy and that the accused persons should not to be slammed a custodian sentence as they have chosen not to waste the court’s time.
Lawyer Sesay said all the accused persons were first time offenders and that they have been advised as to their future conduct in public.
The defence counsel also applied for bail on behalf of the first accused. He admitted that the accused was charged with a very serious offence but added that that shouldn’t bar him from being admitted to bail as the charge was an allegation.
He noted that the importance of bail was for the accused to make himself available to the court whenever the matter comes up, adding that his client has reliable and responsible sureties to stand in his cognisance.
But prosecutor, Superintendent Kamara, objected to the bail application, noting the seriousness of the offence.
He averred that the general elections were imminent and that the behaviour of the first accused was a cause for concern, adding that an attacked on a police officer did not show good sign for the forthcoming elections.
Magistrate Bangura sustained the objection and ordered the remand of all accused persons. He adjourned the matter, pending sentencing.
It could be recalled that on 26th January, during the nomination of the ruling All People’s Congress presidential, parliamentary and local council candidates, police arrested 56 persons for their alleged involved in riotous conduct at Campbell Street and charged them jointly with riotous conduct, while the first accused has to also answer to another count of wounding with intent.