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Friday, May 20, 2022

Magistrate commits UNIMAK murder matter to High Court

By Jeneba A Conteh 

After the prosecuting counsel replied to a no-case submission filed by the defense in a preliminary investigation into the alleged murder of a student at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK), Magistrate Sahr Kekura presiding over the Pademba Road Court No. I, has committed the matter to the High  Court for trial. 

Police alleged that the accused person, Elizabeth Judith Kanu, on Monday 6th September 2021, at UNIMAK, Fatima Campus Hostel, murdered Sonia Mary Thomas. 

The accused, Kanu, was faced with one count charge of murder contrary to law. 

Before he committed the matter to the High Court for the accused to stand trial, Magistrate Kekura disclosed that the prosecution, in a bid to prove its case, led 8 witnesses, including a formal witness and a Scene of Crime Officer who tendered various exhibits in respect of the matter. 

He continued that those witnesses that the prosecution led were also cross-examined by the defense lawyer J. M. Jengo. Thereafter, the prosecution closed its case. 

Magistrate Kekura noted that at the Magistrate Court level, his duty is to examine the evidence adduced before the court in its entirety, adding that if the prosecution adduced sufficient evidence, he will commit the matter to the High Court pursuant to Section 116 of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965, but if the prosecution failed to do so he will discharged pursuant to Section 118 of the same Act. 

Among the many witnesses that the prosecution led, Magistrate Kekura noted that the 1st and 2nd prosecution witness, in their testimony, revealed that the accused and the deceased had confrontation and physical contact. He said both witness statements corroborated. 

He also mentioned that the cause of death certificate indicated that the deceased died of blunt force, fracture, injuries on the neck, several physical assaults which he said convinced him that the prosecution has led sufficient evidence against the accused. 

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