April 20, 2021
By Yusufu S. Bangura
Magistrate Mark Ngegba has on Monday, 19th April, 2021, at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1, discharged five students of the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) for want of prosecution.
The students were to undergo a preliminary investigation for allegations of disorderly behaviour.
Lawyer representing the accused persons described the particulars of offence in the indictment as “defective,” adding that the particulars of offence in all the three counts in the indictment were in contravention of Section 51(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Lead defense counsel, I. Bangura told Magistrate Ngegba that before a matter is heard in court, it should conform to the rules of law.
He continued that the prosecution made reference to an Act in counts one and three, which does not exist.
He added that the Criminal Procedure Act provides for what is required of a prosecuting team-the specific offence for which the accused is charged and to whom the alleged offence is done or affects, adding that the prosecution failed to follow due process.
He, therefore, urged Magistrate Ngegba to discharge the accused persons, noting that discharging them was not a bar and that they could be brought to court again for the same offence.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Hawa Bah, who was prosecuting the matter, did not object to the application of the defense counsel.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Ngegba noted that the defense counsel was able to cite the relevant provisions that reveals that the particulars of offence is defective, hence discharged each accused person on want of prosecution.
Following recent alleged riotous conduct at IPAM, police alleged that Yanku Marrah, John Foday Koroma, Fatmata Binta Bah, Augustine Koroma and Amadu Sesay, who are students of the college, on Monday 12 April, 2021, at Tower Hill Campus in Freetown, behaved in a riotous manner.
The indictment also stated that the accused persons on the same date and place, were found throwing stones at Inspector Sheku Gandie, Inspector Ibrahim Bangaura, Police Constable 2005 and Police Constable 19529 and they also behaved in disorderly manner.
Consequently, they were charged with three counts, ranging from riotous conduct, throwing missile and disorderly behaviour, all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.