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After 6 months in prison without trial…

Adamu & Co. granted Le550m bail

May 20, 2015 By Hawa Amara

Magistrate Komba Kamanda yesterday granted Le50m bail each to Adamu Eze and 10 other accused persons, who had been arraigned for allegedly obstructing a medical team and police personnel executing their lawful duties in Koidu, Kono District.

Adamu Eze, Kalilu Fofanah, Emmanuel Gborie, Alie Bangura, Patrick Kamara, Muctaru Rogers, Aiah Komba, Joseph Gborie, Karim Bayoh, Samuel Sahr Sandy and Tamba Tanda, were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda, on five counts of conspiracy, obstruction, riotous conduct and malicious damage.

They were initially held in detention and without trial for six months, before pressure from rights groups forced government to bring charges against them.

The accused had been refused bail for more than twice in previous attempts.

Defence counsel T. Sangba renewed his bail application for all accused persons.

Sangba reiterated his previous application that the accused were Sierra Leoneans with strong family ties, credible sureties and would not interfere with prosecution witnesses.

Counsel Sangba reminded the court that the accused had been detained for over six months without trial, apparently in disregard for section 23(4) of the 1991 Constitution which states the presumption of the innocence of accused persons until they are proved guilty. He also cited section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965, which guarantees the right to bail in offences such as the ones the accused were charged with.

Acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Sulaiman A. Bah, replied he was not averse to bail, thus leaving it to the discretion of the magistrate.

In his ruling, Magistrate Kamanda stated that because the DPP did not object to bail and in the interest of justice, he would grant bail to the accused persons in the sum Le50m each with two sureties in like sum, and that the sureties must be resident owners of property in Freetown.

He added that the accused should not leave the jurisdiction until they seek and get permission from the court, and should report to the head of Legal Justice Support Division of the Sierra Leone Police, M.B. Kamara, on Mondays and Fridays each week, while the bail has to be approved by the acting Master and Registrar of the High Court.

The prosecution alleges that the accused persons had obstructed medical and police personnel doing their lawful duty in Tankoro Chiefdom in the Kono district on 21 October, 2014.

The prosecution also contends that the first accused (Adamu Eze), on the same date, damaged a Yamaha motorbike with registration No.SLP 754, valued six million Leones, property of the Sierra Leone Police.

Prior to the accused being granted bail, Detective Police Constable Mohamed Marrah Conteh, attached to the Tankoro Police Division, testified for the prosecution.

He said he was on duty on the date of the incident when Operation Officer, Assistant Superintendent Victor Kanu, called and instructed him to join the operation team.

“I then joined the operation team and went to the house of the first accused on Post Office Road. On arrival I saw a large crowd. The Operation Officer ASP Kanu then engaged the first accused to allow the medical operation team to get access to his (accused) sick mother so that she could be taken to hospital for medical treatment,” officer Conteh explained.

The witness corroborated prosecution witnesses claims that the first accused refused to comply with orders from the police, and insisted that no one would take his sick mother to the hospital as the medical team wanted to kill her as there was no Ebola in the country.

“The crowd started pelting stones on the joint teams and the operational support division used teargas to dispatch the crowd, but the tension was too high. The first accused left the scene and went inside his house,” said the witness.

The matter continues on June 2.

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