September 1, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara & Hawa Amara
Foday Ahmed Yumkella and nine others were yesterday remanded at the male correctional centre on Pademba Road after they appeared before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie, presiding at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, on six counts, including conspiracy to commit a felony, impersonation, unlawful possession of cannabis sativa and unauthorised use of telecommunication network.
Detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department had charged Yumkella, Paul James Shepherd, Reuben Tekuyema, Paul Sandy, George Pratt, Mohamed Kargbo, Alhaji Koroma, Alusine Sesay, David Sattie and Salifu Samuka after they were allegedly caught at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi, Port Loko district, on 22 August, committing the offences they were charged with.
According to acting Director of Public Prosecution, Sulaiman A. Bah, five of the accused persons, on the date of the incident, were allegedly found in full Sierra Leone Police uniform while the others were dressed in full military combat fatigue without lawful authority.
The men also allegedly established, maintained, operated and authorised public telecommunication network contrary to section 70(1) of the National Telecommunication Act of 2006, according to the prosecutor.
Alhaji Koroma, the prosecutor alleged, was found in possession of a quantity of leaves suspected to be cannabis sativa without lawful authority.
The defence team led by A. Musa applied for bail on behalf of all the accused persons. He assured the court that the accused persons will not jump bail and can always be in court, citing section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965.
He drew the attention of the court to the health status of the second accused, Paul James Shepherd, a British national, who he said is hypertensive, thus pleading with the magistrate to grant him bail.
The prosecution objected to bail, noting that the offences were serious and that the country was under a State of Public Emergency.
Magistrate Bonnie ruled in favour of the prosecution by refusing to grant bail, although she ordered that the second accused be given permission to receive medical check-up.
The matter will come up again on 10 September.