March 23, 2021
By Francess H. Kamara
The Principle Magistrate at Pademba Road Court No.1, Mark Ngegba has on Monday, 22nd March, 2021, slammed 8 months imprisonment on one Saidu Momoh Conteh, a Correctional Service Officer, who was found guilty of trafficking ‘Kush’ into prison.
The convict had pleaded guilty to the offence during his first appearance before Magistrate Ngegba.
Before he was convicted, the convict had worked in the Carpentry Department of Prisons for nine years. According to the evidence in court, officers who normally report for duty usually go through search and during the course of the search, the convict was suspected to be in possession of a substance in a small plastic hidden in his anus. That substance was discovered to be Kush.
It was also discovered that he was taking the said substance to inmates in the prisons. Before his conviction, the convict had been discharged off his duties at the Correctional Service.
Defense Lawyer, Charlie Israel Williams, in his plea of mitigation, pleaded with the magistrate to temper Justice with mercy.
He said the accused is a young man and a first time offender with no criminal record and that he did not waste the court time by answering to the offense, adding that his client has served the prison department for 9 years.
He further pleaded with the magistrate not to impose a custodian sentence on his client, but a minimal fine that he will be able to pay.
Magistrate Ngegba, however, discountenanced the plea and sentenced the convict to 8 months imprisonment.
Police Constable, 15152 Harold Ballah Turay,was prosecuting the matter.
It could be recalled that the convict was charged to court on one count of unlawful possession contrary to Section 33 (1) of CAP 37 as amended by Section 5 of Act No 6 of 1981.
According to the indictment, the police alleged that the convict on Saturday 30th January, 2021, at the Male Correctional Centre was found in possession of one packet substance (Kush) suspected to have been unlawfully possessed.