May 26, 2020
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Presiding Magistrate at the Freetown Court No.1, Hannah Bonnie, has remanded at the Freetown Male Correctional Centre, nineteen accused persons who allegedly engaged in a riotous conduct and set ablaze a police station and a community health Centre at Tombo village-a fishing dominated community just at the outskirt of Freetown.
All accused persons including Alpha Kalokoh, Ibrahim Kamara, Abu Kamara, Ibrahim Osman Sesay, Suleiman Bah, Abdul Conteh, Momodu Bah and twelve others, made their first appearance in court last Friday, May 22nd,on five count charges ranging from conspiracy, malicious damage, setting fire on public building, to grievous bodily harm contrary to law.
State prosecution alleges that all accused persons on 6th May, 2020, at Tombo Town in the Waterloo Rural District, conspired with other persons unknown and maliciously damaged property of Chief Michael Benga worth millions of Leones.
The prosecution further alleges that all accused persons on the same date and place set fire on public buildings, to wit the Police Station and Community Health Centre in Tombo Town.
In his testimony as the first prosecution witness, Police Inspector, Richard Fomba Lebbie, attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Freetown, recognized all accused persons.
He told the court that on Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, while on duty at the Operational Support Division, Chief Superintendent of Police ,one Mr.Senesis,arrested and took the accused persons to the CID headquaters.
He testified that the Superintendent reported that at about 8 AM of that day all the accused persons were found in riotous conduct and set fire on public buildings in Tombo.
He further stated that upon receiving the accused persons and the information, together with other police officers, cautioned and questioned all them and later visited the scene of crime.
However, Magistrate Bonnie denied bail applications made on behalf of all accused persons and remanded them at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown.
Matter was adjourned to Tuesday 26th May for further evidence.