As students demo at law court…


Theresa & Co. put on Le100M bail

November 22, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Hundreds of students yesterday stormed the precinct of law court building, protesting and demanding the release of their colleagues who were arrested and charged to court for allegedly sharing a post on social media platform, which the police had considered to be an incitement and had the tendency to create chaos in the country.

Theresa Mbomaya and Bokai Kokofele passed the weekend at the Male and Female correctional centres respectively after the court refused them bail last Friday (Nov.18)

Protesters were asked to stay outside the court premises. They were holding placards with inscriptions like: ‘Free Theresa’, ‘we stand in solidarity with Theresa’, ‘freedom of speech under threat’ among others.

The duo were represented by Anthony .Y Brewah, Francis Ben Kelfala, Hindolo Moiwolo Gevao and thirty other lawyers from Human Rights organisations, the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, Civil Society Organisations and the Legal Aid Board of Sierra Leone.

Pursuant to the bail application made by lawyer Kelfala on the previous adjourned date, Magistrate Abou Bakarr Binneh-Kamara granted Le50 million bail and two sureties each in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must be residents in the western area and that they must produce evidence of identity before the Deputy Master and Registrar could approve the bail bond.

Earlier, lawyer Kelfala has applied for the accused persons to be discharged on the grounds that the prosecution has failed twice to produce a witness to testify in the matter.

He cited Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 as an authority to support his application, noting that the mandatory provisions of Section 23(4) of the 1991 Constitution has not been followed, thus reiterating that the accused persons be discharged.

Meanwhile, lawyer R.B Kowa applied that the court subpoena Mohamed Bangura, the Minister of Information and Communication and the Manager of Radio Democracy,Asmaa James, for a comment made on the matter at the said radio station, which he said amounts to contempt of court.

Magistrate Binneh-Kamara would rule on the application on the next adjourned date-November 28 after he would have listened to the recording of the programme.

The accused persons were before the court on two counts of inciting statement and publication of false news, contrary to Section 32(1) of the Public Act of 1965.

Police say both accused persons between Saturday 12 November and Wednesday 16 November, 2016 in Freetown incited students countrywide to set ablaze vehicles plying the streets of Freetown on the night of Thursday, 17th November 2016.

They added that they also published false statements and rumour that would have disturbed the public peace, by threatening to set ablaze commercial vehicles if they failed to stay off the streets on the night of November 17.