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LAJ placed behind bars

August 12, 2021

By Jeneba A Conteh

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Sierra Leone famous hip hop rapper, Alhaji Amadu Bah, aka LAJ, has been remanded at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre for alleged assault on police.

He is before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Pademba Road Court No.1, where he is preliminarily being investigated for assault on police and other related charges.

According to the charge sheet, police alleged that, on Saturday, 17th July, 2021, at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown, the accused assaulted police Constable 12326, Joesph Lamboi, who was executing his lawful duty.

It was also alleged that on that same date at the custody facility of CID, the accused behaved in a disorderly manner.

Police further alleged that the accused behaved in a riotous manner, but he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Taking his first witness, Assistant Superintendent of Police, A.Daboh, led police Constable  12636 Joesph Lamboi, who recognised the accused in the dock.

Explaining his ordeal, Joseph Lamboi attached at CID headquarters said he was on night duty on Saturday, 17th July, 2021, when Superintendent Moijueh together with others, entered the compound on-board a police and a private vehicles.

He said among them was three civilians including the accused.

The police witness said Supt. Moijueh instructed them to issue medical request form to one of the men on-board the private vehicle.

He said the lockup officer and one Micheal Tholley took the two known persons to the hospital.

Explaining further, he said Detective Inspector Assanatu Smith asked him to accompany the accused to the custody facility.

“As soon as we opened the first door, the accused shouted, gentlemen, wake up, this is your boy LAJ, am here to feed you all in the morning,” he explained.

The witness said upon hearing his voice, some of the suspects who had already slept woke up and that they (the police) decided to put the accused in an open detention.

He said few minutes later he heard a loud bang on the door, which prompted him to go and cross check and ascertain what the problem was.

He said on arrival, he met the accused kicking the door and that when he questioned him, he responded that he was not comfortable  with where he was, but wanted to go and stay where the other suspects were.

The witness said he went and explained to Detective Inspector Hajaratu Smith what transpired between him and the accused and that Smith instructed him to lock the door.

He said they went to the cell where the accused was placed and that as soon as he saw them, he commented that they will not go out and subsequently crossed a table before the door, thus preventing them access to exit the cell.

The witness further explained that the accused requested for the key to the lock up and that when he refused to hand it over, he slapped him and removed the key from him, using invectives.

He said the violence action put up by the accused made Inspector Smith fled, leaving him with the accused who expressed determination that he will not release him.

“I took his orders and sat down,” he stated

The witness said two of his colleagues intervened and asked him to give back the key, but he refused.

He said later on, one ASP Bongay surfaced and requested for the keys, but the accused refused to comply, and that he only did so after Supt. Bayo and ASP Joe Akie intervened.

He said in the following morning, he reported the matter while the accused was taken to Benghazi.

He said he was issued with a police medical request form to go for examination and treatment at Connaught Hospital.

The witness was cross examined by defense counsel, I. Macfoy.

Looking at the medical request form, the name of the person allegedly assaulted the witness was written as Alhaji Jalloh aka LAJ.

In continuation of his cross examination, Lawyer Macfoy put it to the witness that beside him and the accused person, there was a female in the cell who was neither a police officer nor a suspect, but the witness responded in the negative.

The Lawyer representing the accused person, Ibrahim Macfoy, applied for bail, stating that he is a Sierra Leonean resident within the jurisdiction.

 He said the accused was neither a flight risk nor will he jump bail.

 He said the accused has reliable sureties who were ready to enter into recognisance on his behalf.

However, taking into consideration the seriousness of the offense, Magistrate Keikura refused the accused bail and adjourned the matter to 13th August, 2021.

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