May 20, 2016 By Hawa Amara
Detective Police Constable 13374 Mustapha Bockarie, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department at the Central Police Station, yesterday testified in the ongoing matter involving supporters of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).
The accused persons, Madam Lulu Marian Sheriff, Peter Lumeh, Massah Banya, Sheku Paul Fofanah, John Smart, Ibrahim Massaquio, Tejan Sheriff, Alie Sesay and Mohamed Bangura, were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 on 13 counts of unlawful procession, disorderly behaviour, malicious damage, throwing missile and carrying offensive weapons, to wit stones and bottles, contrary to law.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused persons on Wednesday, 27 April, 2016 at Wallace-Johnson Street in Freetown, were found processing unlawfully.
The particulars of offence also states that the accused persons on the same date and place maliciously damaged one four runner jeep, with registration N0.ADD 457, destroying the front windscreen glass, the left hand rear glass, left hand rear side glass, rear window and other properties, valued Le56.7m and property of the Sierra Leone Government, under the custody of Anti-Corruption Commission.
In his testimony, DPC 13374 Bockarie told the court that on the day of the incident he was on duty at 11 a.m., when a group of people, including fifth accused John Smart, sixth accused Ibrahim Massaquio and seventh accused Tejan Sheriff came to the station with a masquerade.
He said the fifth accused wore a long T-shirt bearing different colours plus a green under wear.
He said the accused then requested to see the Local Unit Commander and Operation Officer.
The witness said the accused informed him that they have changed the name of their masquerade from ‘Arie Wutehteh’ to ‘Arie Pao-pa.’
He continued that the fifth accused and four others entered the Department of Community Service Centre at the station, while the shift commander Sergeant Gbla politely asked them to leave the station, as they have no right to enter the station.
He maintained that the fifth accused refused to leave the station and that the operation officer and his team again asked them to leave the station and move to their party office, but they refused.
He said the crowd then shouted that they were not going anywhere and referred to them as ‘APC Police Officers’.
“At that moment, a team of officers including me chased them out of the station and some of them went towards Gloucester Street, opposite ACC building, Wallace-Johnson Street and Charlotte Street and started throwing stones from different directions,” narrated the witness.
The detective constable stated that he and some OSD officers saw the fifth accused standing around the vicinity of the ACC building throwing stones at a Prado Jeep with registration No. AFD 504 and destroyed the left side rear glass.
He said the accused was arrested and taken to the station, while the sixth and seventh accused persons were arrested as they were throwing stones at the FCC Building.
The initial charges were in different files, but police prosecutor, ASP Samuel Kamara made an application to consolidate the files. His request was granted by the court, while all accused persons were put on bail in the sum of Le70m plus two sureties in like sum.
Magistrate Dr. Abou Bakarr Binneh-Kamara ordered that the sureties should be Western Area residents who must produce their National Passports, while the bail should be approved by the Acting Master and Registrar.
The accused persons were represented by Eke A. Hollaway and A.Y. Brewah.
The matter continues on 25 May.