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Sunday, July 3, 2022

In Arms and Ammunition Case involving two Nigerians…

Defence enters no case submission

By Hawa Amara

Defence counsel C.F. Edward, entered a no case of submission in the matter involving two Nigerians, Paul Euechukwu and Prince Duru Kennett, who are arraigned for allegedly being in possessing of unlicensed small arms.

While making his submission at the Freetown Magistrates Court No.2 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda, counsel Edward submitted that the prosecution ought to adduce sufficient evidence to satisfy the court, before a conviction could be obtained in respect of the charges.

He submitted that contrary to the testimony of Prosecution Witness No.4, Paul Sitta Mustapha Conteh, officer-in-charge of Anti-Robbery Unit in Freetown, that the rifle and the giant cutter were used by the accused persons, the latter denied any knowledge about the items.

The learned defence counsel further told the court that the aforementioned witness also testified that a team of police officers went to Grafton and dug the gun and giant cutter from the ground, albeit not in the possession of the accused persons.

“From the totality of the evidence led by the prosecution in the instant case, it is inconceivable that sufficient evidence has been led by the prosecution against the accused persons to warrant their committal to the High Court. The question here is, were they found at night with house breaking implements,” he rhetorically asked.

He further submitted that the evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient as to any of the elements of the offence the accused are being charged with, especially possession, either actual or constructive.

He reminded the court that during cross-examination, the fourth Prosecution Witness clearly stated that the items were not found physically in the possession of the accused persons, but were dug out from the ground.

Thus, he said, the prosecution has woefully failed to lead sufficient evidence against both accused persons to warrant their committal to the high court.

“I therefore urge Your Worship to discharge both accused persons on both counts charged,” he pleaded.

The prosecution are expected to respond to the defence during subsequent hearing.

The accused persons were arraigned on two counts of unlawful possession of small arms without license, contrary to section 19(2) of the Arms and Ammunition Act, No.14 of 1955 as repealed and replace by section 19(2) of the Arms and Ammunition amendment Act No.17 of the 1974, and being found at night with house breaking implement, contrary to section 28(2) of the Larceny Art, 1916.

The prosecution alleges that the two Nigerians on 3 January 2014 were found in possession of an unlicensed rifle with serial No. 9911885 and a giant cutter at Grafton, in the outskirt of Freetown.

The matter continues.

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