January 19, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
First prosecution witnessin the ongoing preliminary investigation of a ritual murder in Kono, , Zainab Turay, yesterday narrated in court how first accused KombaMissah (father of the victim) had agreed to sell his daughter for one and half cartoon United States Dollars.
The investigation is being presided over by Magistrate Dr. AbouBhakarrBinneh Kamara at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, with KombaMissah, VandiAnsumana, Tamba Mohamed M’bawa, KombaKamanda and GbamaSessie charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder contrary to law.
Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samuel Kamara, alleges that all accused persons on Friday, 2nd December, 2016 at Nemesedu Village in Gbondu Section, Kamara Chiefdom in the Kono Judicial District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, conspired with other persons unknown to commit a felony, to wit murder.
On count two, the prosecutor alleges that the accused persons on the same date and at same place murdered their victim, FatmataMissah.
In her testimony, Zainab Turay, who introduced herself as a teacher attached to a school in Boimadu village, said she recognised all the accused persons, and testified that she also knew the deceased, while recalling the day of the alleged incident.
She said two days prior to alleged incident, while on a visit to her mother at Nemesedu village the 1st accused approached and informed her that he had a mission although he didn’t explain details of the said mission to her.
She testified that she and the 1st accused went to the 2nd accused, who advised that details of the mission should not be disclosed to her until all arrangements were in place.
She continued that on 1st of December, 2016 the 4th accused approached and asked her to accompany him to Nemesedu village.
She said that on their arrival at the village, the accused dropped her off at a nearby junction, and that she proceeded to the residence of the 1st accused.
She told the court she joined the 1st accusedto go to the residence of the 3rd accused, where they met the 2nd, 4th and 5thaccused persons in a room.
She testified that while in the room, the 4th accused displayed three cartoons of United States Dollars, but that the latter refused to disclose the source of the money when the 1st accused enquired.
“I then asked the 4th accused as to who sent them the money but the 5th accused replied that I shouldn’t ask them such a question. Later, the 4th accused told the 1st accused that the money was for the mission they had earlier informed him about. The 5th accused also told the 1st accused that they would give him one and half cartoon of the money if he provides his daughter for the mission. The 1st accused agreed to do as asked,” she testified.
She added that the 4th accused then came with a cup of water and poured some herbs into it and asked everybody to drink it and swear to an oath that none of them would disclose any details of ‘their mission’.
She further narrated that the 4th accused threatened to kill her if she disclosed thesaid mission to any other person, adding that on December 2nd, 2016 they had a football match and that she saw the 1st accused buying a baked cake and drink for the deceased.
She said that on 3rd December, at 9a.m., she was in school when she overheard the town crier announce that a child had been declared missing from Meneseduvillage, adding that she later went to the village as some youth and police officers went in search of the missing child.
She said the search party discovered the remains of the deceased with the head, two legs and hands severed, and that she later made a statement to the police.
The judicial investigation continues.