February 12, 2016 By Hawa Amara
Albert Musa and Albert Koroma were yesterday arraigned before Magistrate Abu Bakarr Binneh-Kamara for alleged trafficking of five children to The Gambia.
They were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 on 20 counts of conspiracy to commit trafficking in person, contrary to Section 18 of the Anti- Human Trafficking Act of 2005, and trafficking in person contrary to Section 2(i) of the same Act.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused persons on 1 and 15 October, 2015 at Waterloo, conspired with other persons to traffic Sam Bangura, Mohamed Musa, Marie Kamara and Bangalie Kamara from Sierra Leone to The Gambia for the purpose of exploitation as cultural dancers.
Assistant Director in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in the Western Area Rural District, Kabbahkeh Anthony Noah, told the court that he was approached in his office by a junior colleague, Mark Cobber, who informed him that the second accused wanted to see him in respect of some documentation to travel with six children to Banjul.
“Upon that information I requested Mr. Cobber to lead the second accused in the office and he repeated the same purpose of his visit to me,” said Noah.
The witness explained that the second accused requested him to act in the capacity of then Director of Children, Mariatu Bangura, who was not within the office, to process the relevant documents for the alleged victims.
He added that the second accused then called the first accused to supply him with information about the alleged victims and that while they were waiting, he and other staff members brainstormed on the matter.
He said after 30 minutes the first accused arrived and presented a list of the alleged victims, adding that based on that information, Mark Cobber and a certain Edison Kamara went to the home of the alleged victims and took their photographs and returned with the photos to the office.
The witness continued that one of the alleged victims happened to be the son of the first accused, Albert Musa.
The matter continues on 18 February, with the witness expected to continue testifying.