By Hawa Amara
Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No.2 yesterday committed to the High Court a kidnapping matter involving three accused persons charged with allegedly kidnapping a seven-year-old child.
In his ruling, the magistrate stated that the prosecution relied on the evidence of the four prosecution witnesses and that PW1, who is the father of the victim, led in evidence that his child was stolen and that the following day he was searching for him when the first accused (Joseph Samai) was arrested.
He said Samai had admitted in court that he did kidnap the child.
Magistrate Kamanda further noted that there is evidence before the court that the child was kidnapped and that the following day, he was found with the second accused (Tina Campbell). He noted that the evidence before the court was sufficient against the first and second accused persons, and that they did intend to kidnap the child.
He said according to the evidence before the court and the submission of the defence counsel, there was no evidence linking the third accused (Modu Coker) to the offence being charged with. He said the third accused was having a problem with accommodation and that he was rescued by the second accused.
“Merely staying in a house with an offender or alleged criminal does not criminalize an individual,” submitted Magistrate Kamanda. “There is no evidence to prove that the third accused knew about the offence being charged with, nor did he participate in any way to commit the offence. Therefore, he is discharged of the offence.”
The accused persons – Joseph Samai aka ‘Paw-Paw’, Tina Campbell and Modu Coker – were arraigned before the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit kidnapping, and kidnapping contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
Magistrate Kamanda said the first and second accused persons are guilty of the offence being charged with and that both should be committed to the High Court for further trial.
The prosecution alleged that the accused persons on Friday 27 June, 2014 at No.21 Wharf Road, Portee in the east of Freetown, conspired with other persons unknown to commit a felony, to wit kidnapping. The prosecution also alleged that on the same date at No.88 Reservation, Allen Town, the accused persons kidnapped Albert Sesay, 7, against the will of his father, Ernest Sesay.