- to serve 36 months jail or pay fine of Le2.1m
DECEMBER 1, 2014 By Patrick J. Kamara
Hamusa Conteh, a constable in the Operational Support Division (OSD) of the Sierra Leone Police, was last Friday (28 November) convicted on five counts of traffic offences.
Magistrate Santigie Ibrahim-Sorie Bangura of the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No. 5 slammed a two-and-half year jail term or an alternative fine of Le2.1 million on the accused.
Conteh was standing trial on 18 counts of various traffic offences, including dangerous driving contrary to Section 99(1), careless and inconsiderate driving contrary to Section (101) and driving without a license contrary to Section 16(1) of the Road Traffic Act of 2007 respectively.
Magistrate Bangura also ordered the convicted officer to compensate the owner of the commercial mini-bus, called locally ‘Poda-Poda’, the sum Le4 million; the Council of Imams Hospital Le1 million; and Tom Kamara and Ibrahim Koroma, who sustained serious injuries from the accident the officer was involved in, the sum of Le1.5 million each.
Earlier in his plea of mitigation, defence counsel Selwyn Nicol pleaded with the Bench not to impose a custodial sentence on his client on the grounds that he was a first time offender and a loyal public servant of the Sierra Leone Police Force. He also averred that his client was on an operation during the time of the incidence.
Police prosecutor, Sergeant Sahr Dauda Karku, had alleged that on 2 November this year, the accused, whilst driving a police vehicle with registration No. SLP149 from Waterloo to Freetown, hit a ‘Pada-Poda’ van with registration No. AIJ 915 as he tried to over-take in a curve at Allen Town.
The prosecution claimed that the perimeter fence of the Council of Imams Hospital at Allen Town was damaged, while 18 passengers on board the commercial mini-bus sustained serious injuries.