June 15, 17 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Membership Director of the newly formed National Progressive Democrats (NPD), Jesmed Foday Suma, yesterday openly apologised to the court, after being held in prison for almost twenty-five days.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to our fine gentlemen and women that are serving this nation diligently. My statements were out of frustration. I want to say am sorry,” he pleaded.
Suma had accused Magistrate Binneh-Kamara of injustice, claiming that “he was being used by politicians to suppress the democratic voices of people’, after his matter was adjourned on three consecutive occasions.
As a result of the accusation, the magistrate withheld the bail that he had granted the accused, who was charged for the offences of Sedition contrary to Section 33 (1) (6) of the Public Order Act No.46 of 1965 and disorderly behaviour contrary to Section 12 of the Public Order Act No.46 of 1965, as amended by Section 15 of act No.2 of 1975.
The prosecution alleged that the accused, on Friday, March 24th, 2017, around Cotton Tree, did say that they would make the country ungovernable, if government failed to take action in the Njala issue.
Meanwhile, his legal representatives, including Suliaman Banja Tejan-Sie and K. Metzger, have also written a letter of apology to the judiciary on behalf of their client.
Magistrate Binneh Kamara has, however, promised to restore the bail conditions of the accused tomorrow (Friday 16th June 2017).
Earlier, lawyer Suliaman Banja Tejan-Sie, applied for the magistrate to discharge his client, noting that trial on such offense shouldn’t commence without the consent of the Attorney General.
“My client is charged under Section 33 of the Public Order Act of 1965, which states that ‘no person shall stand trial in court with such charge without the consent of the Attorney General’ and I have gone through the file but nothing like a letter from the Attorney General was founded in the file,” he said.
He also argued that the accused was charged with Sedition and not seditious libel as stated in Section 33 of the Public Order Act of 1965.
Replying to the application, State Counsel, Ahmed J.M. Bockarie, submitted that the accused was charged under Section 33 (1b) of the Public Order Act of 1965.
He argued that there was no law which says that the Attorney General should write a consenting letter to the court for the prosecution of an accused person charged under Section 33 of Public Order Act of 1965.
However, Magistrate Binneh-Kamara would rule on the discharge application on the next adjourned date.