February 13, 2015 By Hawa Amara
Three accused persons who have pleaded guilty to the offence of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition were yesterday sent on remand at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road, awaiting sentencing.
The three – Alhaji Foday Fofanah, Alfred Harding and Abass Suliaman Sesay – were standing trial at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No. 1 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to law, and being in possession of small arms and ammunition without license, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution had argued that the accused conspired with other individuals to traffic a Makarov pistol with serial No. B04474 to Waterloo in the Western Rural District on January 5, the day first accused Alhaji Foday Fofanah was arrested at an Ebola checkpoint while in possession of the said gun in the district.
Last week, defence counsel S.K. Koroma applied for the matter to be dismissed on the grounds that the accused persons had been arraigned on the wrong charges.
However, police prosecutor Sergeant 922 Dumbuya J. had applied that the prosecution be allowed to amend the charges.
His application was upheld by Magistrate Kamanda, thus fresh charges were brought against the trio.
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Meanwhile, defence counsels, including Sulaiman Kabba-Koroma, pleaded with the magistrate to not impose a custodian sentence because the accused persons have not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty.
Also, they pleaded that justice be tempered with mercy, especially for the second accused Alfred Harding, who was only charged with conspiracy.