May 27, 2015 By Hawa Amara
A prosecution witness, Abdul Rahman Mansaray, yesterday testified in court that victims of a child trafficking matter involving two women alleged to have trafficked two siblings to Freetown were to be sold for Le20 million.
Mansaray told the court the accused persons are his younger sisters, while the victims are his nephews.
He said between 20 and 22 April, 2015 he had received a call from the accused persons from Tambaka Chiefdom, who informed him they would be travelling to Freetown with the victims. He said the accused told him they were embarking on a business that would enrich the family.
“I asked the accused persons whether it was a diamond or gold business, and they replied that they were travelling with two children for sale in Freetown,” he told the court.
He said the accused came to Freetown with one of the children and that when he asked about the whereabouts of the other, they replied they had left him in Kamakwie for credit of Le200,000 and two bundles of zinc.
He said the trafficked victim who was left in Kamakwie is dumb and deaf and that when he called to enquire about him, he was told the victim was in police custody in Kamakwie.
The witness stated that the accused then urged him to look for someone that was willing to buy the other boy before they would go to Kamakwie to bring the other victim.
“I informed one Ibrahim Bangura, who is a police officer, about the accused persons. I also informed the Chief of Tambaka Chiefdom through telephone,” he said, adding that he planned with three people, including a lady, who posed as buyers and went to a place called Deep Eye Water to negotiate a fee with the accused persons.
He explained that when they arrived at Deep Eye Water he introduced the three ‘buyers’ to the accused persons, and that the lady asked the accused persons what fee they were willing to sell the child.
The witness said the accused were also asked why they wanted to sell the children, and that the first accused replied she wanted to refund a micro-credit she had taken amounting to Le10 million.
The second accused, he said, replied that she wanted to buy two bundles of roofing zinc for a house she was constructing for her mother.
“The accused were asked as to the cost of the two victims and they replied that they want Le20 million,” the witness said.
The witness further told the court that some family members came to the scene and that they later alerted the police who arrested the accused persons and took them to the Waterloo police station and obtained statement from them, while the victim was left in the care of the Family Support Unit.
Nanah Janneh and Fatmata Janneh were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on five counts of conspiracy to traffic children and human trafficking.
The matter was adjourned to 1 June.