Magistrate blames police for backlog of cases


By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

A Freetown magistrate yesterday blamed the Sierra Leone Police for the deluge of backlog of cases, which he said is due to unnecessary delays in producing witnesses in court.

Magistrate Komba Kamanda, who presides at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No. 2, was responding to defence counsel E.F. Edwards, who had voiced his frustration and concern about his client’s continued detention while the matter takes an agonizing snail pace, noting that members of the public always blame the court for undue delay in court cases.

“The police are creating huge problems for this court. When matters are charged to court, they continually ask for adjournment without bringing their witnesses. I will not give bail in vacuum, I will have to examine the evidence before granting bail,” he said. “Your client is before the court for house breaking and larceny and the raining season has already begun; I need to protect the ordinary citizens out there.”

Thus, Magistrate Kamanda refused granting bail and remanded the accused, but admonished police prosecutors to avail their witnesses on the next adjourned date, 27 May, 2014.

In another development, Abdul Bockarie Kamara, Yatta Amara and Chuku Ebuka were yesterday remanded at the maximum security prison on Pademba Road for allegedly defrauding one Israel Bunduka Kenewah of the sum of Le18m (eighteen million Leones) on the pretext of having a coltan for sale.

In his brief testimony, the complainant told the court he only came to know the accused persons through a friend in the United Kingdom who introduced them to him. He told the court that on 16 April, 2014, he gave the first accused, Abdul Bockarie Kamara, the sum of Le18 million. He said the accused left for Masiaka the same day where the purported miners were and returned with three parcels of what the accused described as coltan.

He said the second accused person, Yatta Amara, represented that she was wife of the chief, as well as being in charge of the mine site, and received the money from Kamara.

“I got intelligence later that the parcel was not containing coltan, which prompted me to alert the police. They were arrested and made statement,” he said.

The matter continues on 27 May.