Herbert Williams, Abubakar Daramy walk Free
March 12, 2021
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Former Mayor of the Freetown City Council ,Herbert George Williams and former Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Abubakar Daramy, who also doubles as Spokesperson for the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party, were on Thursday, 11th March, 2021,acquitted and discharged of the offences of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm
The accused persons were standing trial in the High Court presided over by Justice A. K Musa on two counts charge of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm contrary to law.
The State Prosecutor, Umu Sumarary, had alleged that the accused in March 2018, around Lumley, within the Freetown Judicial District in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone, conspired to Murder Journalist Ibrahim Samura, former proprietor of the New Age Newspaper.
Earlier in court, the prosecution said during the trial, they brought in ten witnesses including the wife of the late man and that they also tendered several evidences to support their case.
In his summing up statement, Lawyer Melron Nicol-Wilson representing the second accused said the state lacks merit because it never met the standard requirement to convict the accused persons of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
He submitted that there was no evidence against the accused persons to show that they inflicted grievous bodily harm on or murdered the deceased.
He said prosecution witness No .7, a Journalist who interviewed the deceased on the day he was beaten, testified that the deceased never mentioned the name of any of the accused persons.
He further submitted that PW 2 testified on oath that he was at the scene when the accused was beaten by State House security guards, and that none of the accused was at the scene.
He urged the jury that they must think carefully and return with a verdict of not guilty against all accused persons.
While addressing the jury, Justice Musa said the men were committed to the High Court on two count charges of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
He said it was the duty of the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt, and to do that it summoned ten witnesses including the Government Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Semion Owizz Koroma.
The judge said he had gone through the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and the statements of all accused persons.
He reminded the jury that they were judges of fact and that they should be well informed about the case before handing down judgment.
He reiterated that it was the burden of the prosecution to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt and prove the guilt of the accused persons, adding that any doubt should go in favour of the accused persons.
He told the jurors that none of the witnesses had told the court that he saw any of the accused person beating the deceased on the day of the incident.
Justice Musa cautioned the jury to look into the said matter, think about it critically for minutes and bring out their verdict.
He said they should believe the sworn statement which the PW2 and PW3 made in court because they were testimonies on oath, thus noting that they should disprove of the statement made to the police because it was not on oath.
He also said there was no witness that linked the accused persons to the offense, adding that the letter which the Western Area Chairman of the APC issued to the Editor and the New Age Manager, who was also the deceased, was never linked to the accused persons.
After the jury retired at exactly 2:55pm to the deliberation room, they unanimously returned with a verdict of not guilty on both charges.