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APC MP’s health condition deteriorates in prison, denied bail

July 21, 2021

By Jeneba A Conteh

While renewing his bail application in court, lead Defense Counsel for Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh, on Monday informed the court  that, the health condition of his client has deteriorated considerably, stating that the blood sugar of the second accused was at a very alarming stage.

He added that a nutritionist had made some prescription for the second accused, but that such has not been honoured while the health condition of the accused continues to deteriorate in prison.

But State Counsel argued that the medical doctor who prepared the report could have indicated referral, thus urging the court not to give credence to the medical report and objected to bail.

Lawyer Dumbuya decided to defer his cross-examination and the prosecuting counsel did not object to the request made by the defense.

Magistrate Sahr Kekura noted that it was the medical doctor at the Correctional Facility that should have informed the court about the health status of the accused.

The opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) Member of Parliament representing Constituency 129,Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh , was charged together with others  with  illegally importation of arms and ammunition into Sierra Leone.

They have been denied bail for the three consecutive times by Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Pademba Road Magistrates Court in Freetown.

On Monday, the first prosecution witness produced and identified a plethora of documents, but the defense counsel for the first and second accused argued that the documents produced in court never bear the names of his clients.

During the previous court sittings, the court adjourned to enable the prosecution produce certain documents in relation to the importation of the arms and ammunition into the country.

Detective Police Constable, Joseph Collins, with force number 9268, on Monday, 19th July, 2021, identified a delivery order created for Maerskline, dated 1st July, 2021, and attached to it was a non-negotiable Waybill,also generated by Maerskline, dated 28th June, 2021.

He also identified a copy of deposit payment slip paid into the account of Freetown Terminal Limited, followed by Freetown Terminal’s document indicating an invoice dated 2nd July, 2021, and a copy of another delivery order which bears the identity of Sheriff Jalloh, who happens to be the fourth accused person.

He disclosed that the investigation revealed that the original of the aforementioned documents have been retained by Maerskline for their administrative work.

The deposit payment slip was produced and tendered for identification. He also produced, identified and tendered other relevant documents, which he had made mention of.

He added that the investigation revealed that exhibit C is a delivery order in respect of a container of equipment number MSKU9574643, which, according to the investigation, contained four vehicles, and some other personal effects.

He continued that under Kargbo’s description, there was a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder with serial number, MSKU9574643.

He said the investigation further revealed that Friday, 2nd July, at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, during the process of physical examination of the aforementioned vehicle, certain prohibited items were discovered. The items, he said, include: seven unassembled pistols, twelve empty magazines, and 100 live rounds ammunitions as confirmed by the ballistic report.

He continued that the fourth accused was arrested concerning his role as a clearing agent in view of the vehicle mentioned.

PC Collins also identified documents generated by Maerskline, and the second document which he said was generated by the Ocean Marine Shipping based in the United States of America.

He identified another document- a deposit payment made at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and scanned receipt in connection with the scanning of a 40 feet container indicating payment made for that purpose.

He also identified cash deposit slip for scanning and payment deposited at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, which were also produced and identified. He also produced and tendered a plethora of other documents in court.

The witness recalled that on the 12th July, 2021, he was on duty at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown, when the first accused person was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony.

He told the court that he was charged with unlawful possession of arms and ammunitions and illegal importation of arms and ammunitions, adding that he was interviewed by Detective Inspector M. Kanneh.

The charge statement of the first accused was produced and tendered in court.

In the case of the 3rd accused whom he said works for Capital Africa Logistics, PC said, on the 12th July, 2021, he was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit a felony.

During cross-examination, defense counsel for the 1st accused, lawyer Jengo disclosed that his client’s name was not on the documents tendered, adding that it was not his client who shipped the container, but Ocean Marine Shipping Company.

Lawyer Jengo revealed that the consignee of the container was Arun Rahim, adding that it was he that the Ocean Marine Shipping Company directed that the container be released to.

Meanwhile, PC Collins disclosed that post-charge investigation was ongoing and Lawyer Jengo, put it to him that, the first accused person denied the allegation that he did not ship the container.

The defense counsel asked the witness to tell the court who an importer is, but the state counsel objected on the grounds that the term importer is technical.

The defense argued that the witness would have not been in court to testify on arms and ammunition should they have considered the word technical, but Magistrate Sahr Kekura upheld the objection.

PC Collins also disclosed that the first accused was only cautioned for unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.

Lawyer Jengo asked as to whether his client was cautioned for importation of arms and ammunition, but the police witness replied that such never reflected on the charge sheet.

 When it was put to him that the ongoing post-charge investigation was as a result of the fact investigation has not been completed, the witness replied that they were at the second phase of the investigation.

Lead defense counsel for the second accused person, Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, disclosed that the witness and investigator arrested somebody that was not in court.

Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya further noted that the witness was not present at the time when the search was conducted at the Quay, adding that all the information he got was second- hand.

Lawyer Dumbuya also reiterated that the container was to be delivered to Aruna Rahim and that the shipper was Ocean Marine Shipping Company, and the witness confirmed the assertion in his response.

He added that none of the documents bears the name of the second accused person, and the witness confirmed it to be true.

The witness also confirmed that all payments were made by one Aruna Rahim.

Meanwhile, the defense counsel for the second accused did not complete his cross-examination, and Magistrate Kekura remanded all accused persons and adjourned the matter to the 21st July, 2021.