March 21, 2019
By Regina Pratt
Magistrate Hannah Bonnie, presiding at the Siaka Steven Street Court No.1 on Tuesday, 19th March, upheld an objection made by defense counsel, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, to disallow the first prosecution witness to tender a document earlier authored by Paramount Chief Brima Kebbie, thus urging that the author should be the one to tender it in court.
Lawyer Abdulai is representing Hon. Shiaka Sama and 16 others, who are preliminarily being investigated on 24 count charges.
His objection came after the first prosecution witness; Detective Police Constable, Andrew S. Konneh, attached to the Criminal Investigations Department(CID) had wanted to tender a letter that was authored by PC Kebbie.
Lawyer Abdulai argued that the witness was not the author of the letter and that he would not be the authentic person to tender it because he won’t answer any question in relation to the content of the said document.
“He is not the author of that document and so he is not competent to tender it,” he argued.
Police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent I. S. Mansaray, replied that his witness has the locus standi to tender the document, as it has been in the custody of the police and added there were ten receivers of the said letter.
The witness presented five endorsed medical report forms in respect of PC 11091 Ansumana A. G, PC 15406 Pewah F, Mariatu F. Conteh, Monica Sajoh and PC 17842 Osman Santigie.
He also tendered a copy of invitation letter for a development meeting at Constituency 104 and a letter of complaint written by the management of SOCFIN Agricultural Company.
The witness said between 22nd and 23rd January, 2019, a team of detectives including himself and Superintendent of Police, Theophilous Koroma, who led a team of police officers, obtained statement from the 1st, 5th to 14th accused persons.
He said the accused persons recognized their statements to be true, correct by affixing their thumb print on them, while Hon. Sama signed in his handwriting.
He continued that on 14th January, 2019, a team of detectives including him visited the Pujehun Police station enroute to the scene of crime in the company of Detective ASP Cannon T., who is the crime officer.
He said the Crime Officer handed over to the investigation team, one shot gun, 4 empty AA shot gun cartridges and 4 cutlasses, which he alleged where obtained from the scene of crime.
The witness said they visited the scene of crime at Jao Junction, Henai, Basaleh, Sengema, and Kangama villages respectively.
In Henai village, the team observed a large chunk of ripe palm fruits in a nearby bush, and also observed at Jao junction that some of the window panes of the SOCFIN administrative building, where damaged.
He said they observed also that the makeshift security post was gutted.
The police witness further said they discovered at the scene short sticks, motor cycle chains, 1 empty rifle, adding that photos were taken by him with an android phone which was later developed into pictures.
Meanwhile, lawyer Abdulai also objected to the tendering of the pictures, stating that the phone should be tendered in court and the witness agreed to make it available.
He also said on the 28th January, 2019, the team of detectives including him together with the Weapon and Ballistic Expert, Inspector Joseph, visited the scene of crime and also took photos.
He added that statements were taken from additional witnesses and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons were charged with the offences of conspiracy to commit crime, inciting riotous conduct, kidnapping and publishing a false statement.
The matter was adjourned to Tuesday March 26, 2019.