August 12, 2020
By Yusufu S. Bangura
One Sheik Urmar Karanka Conteh, who is standing trial for alleged conspiracy to commit murder, was on Monday, 10th August, remanded at the Male Correctional Centre by Magistrate Hannah Bonnie for threatening remarks.
The accused was charged with perverting the course of justice contrary to law, public insult and provocation and abusive language contrary to Section 3(1) of the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965, among others.
Police alleged that the accused on Sunday, 8th March, 2020, at No. 1 Magazine Cut, Grass Field in Freetown, made certain remarks “na buff case, total buff case, this system is under our control” on Facebook against the Paramount Chief, PC Koblo Queen 11, to pervert the course of justice.
Police also alleged that the accused rained public insults on PC Koblo Queen ii in a manner to likely to provoke and used certain insulting languages against the complainant, via WhatsApp and Facebook, which is likely to provoke him to breach public peace.
Police further alleged that the accused on the 30th March, 2020, and on diverse days between that day and the 25th June, did use threatening languages against the complainant on Facebook and WhatsApp.
They further claimed that the accused also make use of abusive, obscene, and insulting words on Facebook and WhatsApp against PC Koblo Queen with intent to provoke him to commit a breach of the peace.
Testifying in court, PC Bai Koblo Queen II said he knew the accused and recalled on the date in question.
He said after the attack in Lunsar, the inter-religious leaders met with him in Freetown where they prayed, condemned the act and apologized that he returns to his chiefdom.
He added that while preparing to return one Mohamed Saidu Kanu went to him and showed him messages from his mobile phone.
PC Koblo Queen II testifies that when he looked at the messages, he saw the name of the accused together with his picture.
He said the message reads thus, “Chief Koblo is a disgrace. Chief Koblo will never return to Lunsar again.The case is a buff case. The court system is under his control and others.”
He said after reading the messages he felt bad, threatened and disrespected.
He told the court that he later returned to Lunsar with his security and after some days Mohamed forwarded the messages to his mobile phone while he printed it out.
He continued that after printing the messages he handed them over to the Lunsar Police Station where he later made statement.
During cross examination by Lawyer Mohamed G. Yoki, the witness said Mohamed received the messages from his Facebook account and the picture of the accused was tagged with the messages.
He said he did not know anything about Facebook and does not have Facebook account.
Also testifying in respect of the matter was Mohamed Saidu Kanu, who said he knew the complainant as the Paramount Chief of Maranpa Chiefdom and knew the accused as well.
He recalled on the 9th June, 2020, when a cross section of the Lunsar religious leaders together with police personnel visited PC Bai Koblo at ECOWAS Street in Freetown.
He said the reason for their visit was to sympathize with the chief and apologise that returns to Lunsar, adding that during the meeting he took photos and later compiled the outcome of the meeting and posted it on Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Kanu continued that after sending to those groups he later saw comments from the accused insulting the complainant.
He added that after reading the messages he told her sister about the comments and later informed the complainant.
He explained that after sometimes, he screened-short the comments and sent them to her sister and the complainant.
He said he later made statement to the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Freetown.
The Exhibit Clark also testified in respect of the same matter.
The matter was adjourned to Friday 14th August for the next prosecution witness to testify.