April 5, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Principal Magistrate at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, Dr. Abou Bhkarr Binneh-Kamara, yesterday granted fifty million Leones bail and one surety each to two Njala University students that were before the court for the offences of conspiracy and unlawful possession of explosive substance.
The accused persons -Magdalene Dumbuya and Abdulai Kamara are students of Njala University, Bo Campus and were in the lower court for preliminary investigations on two count charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and unlawful possession of explosive substance, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant 922 John Dumbuya, alleges that both accused persons on 23rd March, 2017, at the Freetown Judicial District, conspired with other unknown persons to commit a felony.
Police say the first accused (Magdalene Dumbuya) on the same date, was found with an explosive substance.
Before the accused persons could be granted bail, Lawyer Julian Cole, in his bail application, told the magistrate that the presumption of innocence of the accused until proven guilty will be conceded as white elephant rule, if the magistrate refused to apply it.
He informed the court that the university has reopened and students have resumed classes, adding that if bail was not granted to the accused, it would do them more harm because staying at the correctional centre without attending classes would lead to academic loss.
It could be recalled that on 23rd March, 2017, hundreds of students from Njala University took to the streets of Freetown and Bo respectively in apparent strike of missing classes for about five months, after lecturers down tool for government’s failure to pay their wages and other benefits due them.
Magistrate Binneh-Kamara had sentenced 14 students from Njala University on 3 count charges, ranging from Obstruction of Traffic, riotous conduct to disorderly behaviour to 3 months in prison or pay an alternative fine of Le11900,000 (elven million nine hundred thousand Leones) into the court’s treasury fund.