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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

LAJ Saga: 12 in court for riotous conduct

By Jeneba A Conteh

Ishmael Bah, Mohamed S Bah, Zunaika Jabbie, Abibatu Sesay, Isatu Cece Kabba, Isatu Kargbo, Bintu Bangura, Ibrahim Bangura, Suliaman Shaw, Samuel Waba Samura, Ibrahim Koroma and Ibrahim Kaba made their first appearance before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of  the Pademba Road Court No.2 in Freetown for alleged riotous conduct.

They were before the court on two count charges to wit disorderly behaviour contrary to Section 12 of the Public Order Act No.46 of 1965 as repealed and replaced by Section 12 (a) of Act No15 of 1973, and riotous conduct contrary to Section 12 of the Public Order Act No.46 of 1965 as repealed and replaced by Section 12 (a) Act No.15 of 1973.

According to police charge sheet, it was alleged that all accused persons on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at the Operational Support Division (OSD) of the Sierra Leone Police headquarters, Kingharman Road  in Freetown, did behave in a disorderly and riotous manner.

The charges were read and explained to all accused persons and they pleaded not guilty.

Led in evidence by Superintendent of Police,Hawa Bah, prosecution witness No:1, Sergeant 87100 Ramatulai Mabinty Conteh attached to the OSD headquarters, stated in court that, she saw the 1st and second accused persons at the said office and on Wednesday she saw the ten accused persons.

He recalled on the June 15, 2022, when the first and second accused persons requested to see their brother, LAJ in custody.

She testified that she told the two accused persons that she didn’t have knowledge about the whereabouts of their brother, adding that they insisted on seeing their brother.

Conteh continued that her boss told her to ask all accused persons out of the compound and that all accused persons told her that they won’t go anywhere until they saw LAJ in custody.

She alleged that all accused persons threw Mega Cola rubbers inside the office and her boss asked them to arrest the accused persons.

She further said all the business people around closed their shops and went home.

Cross examination was done by Defense Counsel A.Bah.

Prosecution witness No:2, Sub Inspector Charles Dixon Alieu attached to the OSD headquarters said he knew the first prosecution witness and recognized all the accused persons in the dock.

He recalled on the 15th June 2022 when something transpired between himself and the accused persons and that he came to know the first accused person on his first visit requesting to see his brother LAJ.

He said on the said date the accused persons came to the office with four vehicles wherein the 8th, 11th, 12th, 6th, 9th and 10th accused persons were boarded and that they requested to see their brother by hook or by crook.

He said their commander, Assistant Commissioner, Patrick Moseray, heard the noise and AIG Francis Kowan came to calm them down, but later got angry and ordered the arrest of all accused persons.

Counsel representing the accused persons applied for bail  pursuant to Section 79, 2 and 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act No.32 of 1965,stating that all accused persons are Sierra Leoneans resident in Freetown. 

However, Magistrate Ngegba refused bail and sent all accused persons to the male and female Correctional center in Freetown and  adjourned  the matter to June 21st,2022 for further hearing.

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