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Police, soldier remanded for cannabis

OCTOBER 15, 2014 By Hawa Amara

Two police officers, a soldier and three civilians were yesterday remanded at the maximum security prison on Pademba Road by Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 for allegedly being found in possession of seventy-seven (77) bags of cannabis sativa.

The accused persons – Assistant Superintendent of Police Aruna Turay, Police Constable Samuel Hallowell, Mohamed Dumbuya – a soldier, Musa Tarawally, Abu Bakarr Kamara and Santigie Bangura – were arraigned in court on three counts of possession of drugs without lawful authority, having drug under their control without lawful authority, and engaging in activity for the purpose of an enterprise relating to drug without lawful authority, contrary to Section 8(a) of the National Drugs Control Act of 2008.

According to the prosecution, the accused persons on 10October, at Konsho village in the Makari-Gbanti chiefdom, Bombali district, and without lawful authority, possessed drugs to wit cannabis sativa. The prosecution also alleged that the accused on the same date had the said drugs under their control, and that they were engaged in an activity, while using a vehicle with registration No. AIH 573 for the purpose of an enterprise relating to the said drugs.

Defence counsels M.P. Sesay, T.A. Jah, A.M. Conteh, E.T. Koroma and I. Caulker applied for bail on the grounds that the prosecution was not prepared to continue with the case, and that the accused persons have responsible sureties and do not constitute a flight risk. They based their argument on Section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 and Section 17 of the 1991 Constitution which states that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

However, police prosecutor Inspectors S. Conteh objected to bail and asked for an adjournment because his witnesses were not in court.

Magistrate Kamanda reasoned with the prosecutor and refused the accused persons bail. He adjourned the matter to 3November.