September 12, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura
First Prosecution Witness (PW1) in an ongoing murder trial involving three accused persons, James Sesay, has last Friday (8th September) narrated in court how he survived death during a traditional poro secrete society initiation ceremony at Waterloo.
James Sesay recalled on Saturday 22nd April, 2017 at Matimbi village, when he and the deceased persons (Pa Sembu Koroma, Alie Conteh and Fatta Turay) visited the residence of the first accused person (James Harding) at around 7pm, to secure the release of one Philip Koroma, an underage boy that the former had wanted to forcefully initiate into the Poro Society.
PW1 said when they arrived at the accused’s residence; he left with his car in pretense that he was going to get the boy, adding that while they were waiting his return, they were suddenly physically attacked by a huge crowd.
While testifying in court, the witness recognised the second accused person (Councilor Sonny Caulker) as one of the people among the crowd that were armed with stones, sticks and cutlasses.
Pw1 narrated that it was almost dark when the crowd attacked, beat and butchered them until one of the victims was dropped dead.
He continued that when the accused persons noticed that one of the men was dead, they decided to take the others to a nearby bush for a possible slaughter.
He further testified that on their arrival into the bush; they met the third accused (Agibu Sawanneh) who ordered that they be killed that night.
“The councilor asked us whether we have children and asked us to say our last prayers before they kill us,” he said.
He said while they were praying, the accused persons suspected someone in the bush and ran away.
“When they ran away, I was helpless, but managed to escape and hid nearby close to where Fatta and the two corpses were lying,” he said.
PW1 told the court that when the accused persons returned and noticed that he had escaped, they decided to kill Fatta, who was struggling with his life, adding that they vowed to kill any Limba tribesman in the community.
According to him, he passed the night in the bush after he sustained severe injuries and later reported the matter to Waterloo police station.
Headman-James Harding, Councilor Sonny Caulker and Agibu Sawanneh were before Magistrate Albert Moody of Court No.1 for allegedly killing James Sesay, Pa Senebu Koroma, Alie Conteh and Fatta Turay at Matini village, Waterloo.
The three accused persons were charged with three counts of conspiracy to murder contrary to section 4 of the Offense Against the Person Act 1861.
The particulars of offence stated that the accused persons on Saturday 22th April, 2017 at Waterloo, conspired with other persons unknown to murder the deceased persons.
The matter was prosecuted by O.V.Robin- Mason Jr.while the accused persons were represented by Lawyer S.M. Tarawally and Lawyer Berewa.
The matter was adjourned to the 13th September 2017 for further hearing.