Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, KolifaRowala Chiefdom in Tonkolili District, 7th July, 2021: The Resident High Court Judge in Makeni, Hon. Justice UnisaKamara (J) who is presiding over cases in the on-going High Court Criminal Session in Magburuka Town, Northern Sierra Leone has sentenced 24-year-old Musa Kargboto death by hanging. He is popularly known as SOJA and was sentencedfor murder.
A twelve-member Jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict against the convict in respect of a one count indictment of Murder, contrary to law.
According to the Particulars of Offence, the accused Musa Kargbo on the 19th December 2019, at Rongola Village, Yoni Mamilla Chiefdom, Tonkolili District in the Northern Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone murdered MomohKamara.
In his address to the jurors shortly before they retired to consider their verdict, Hon. Justice UnisaKamara noted that in all criminal trials in Sierra Leone, the burden of proving the guilt of the accused person beyond reasonable doubt rests solely upon the Prosecution.
He went on to note that the Prosecution must prove among other things that the accused person was of a sound mind and of the age of discretion; that the killing was done with malice aforethought either expressed or implied, and that the victim was a reasonable creature being and under the protection of the State at the material time.
Referring to the jurors as judges of facts, Justice Kamara urged them to decide the case according to the evidence adduced before the court without sympathy for or against either the prosecution or the accused or the victim of the crime.
â€œIf based upon your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the accused person is guilty of the crime charged, you must find him guilty. If on the other hand you think thereâ€™s a real possibility that heâ€™s not guilty, you must give him the benefit of the doubt and find him not guilty,â€ Hon. Justice Kamara stated.
The 2ndprosecution witness Dr. John FallahYillia said he examined and performed post-mortem examination on the deceased at the Magburaka Government Hospital while the 3rd prosecution witness told the court that the accused and one Marios stabbed the deceased outside the dancehall.Â
Following the close of the Prosecutionâ€™s case by State Counsel A.Y. Mansaray, the accused said he relied on his statement to the police.
In his plea mitigation, Legal Aid Board Lawyer, Ibrahim Samba, told the court that the convict (Musa Kargbo) is a first time offender and that the court should temper justice with mercy.
The convict also pleaded for mercy.
Delivering his sentence after the unanimous guilty verdict, Justice UnisaKamara sentenced Musa Kargbo to death by hanging.
Cases which range from murder, manslaughter, sexual penetration, larceny, wounding with intent among others are part of the June Criminal Sessions holding in Tonkolili District with a total of 22 cases.
The High Court Criminal sessions are being funded by the Judiciary with funds from the Government of Sierra Leone and are aimed at taking justice closer to the people.
Chief Minister Applauds Dr. Turad Senesie’s Leadership
The Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone has commended the Minister of Lands Housing and Country Planning, Dr. TuradSenesie over what he described as admirable performance in the sector.
Mr. Jacob JusuSaffa, who visited the ministry as part of his tour of government ministries, departments and agencies, encouraged the lands minister to continue his admirable professional leadership and performance.
According to him, the actions of Dr. Senesie were consistent with the vision of the new direction government as contained in the manifesto and medium term development plan.
“Within his first one hundred days in office, Dr. TuradSenesie has successfully championed and sailed through cabinet at least six cabinet papers to support his activities in developing and strengthening legislations and housing project developments, among others,” the Chief Minister disclosed.
He urged the minister to continue his efforts to recover and document state lands across the country, while at the same time settling disputes emanating from wrong actions in the past.
The chief minister explained his role in supporting government MDAs to ensure the vision of His Excellency the President is achieved.
He assured the Lands Minister of his continued support to ensure growth in the sector.
Earlier, the Lands Minister Dr. TuradSenesie systematically updated the Chief Minister on the progress made thus far since his assumption of office few months ago.
“The policy direction of the ministry has now been shifted from land allocation to country planning and provision of affordable housing,” he disclosed.
The complaints committee set up to investigate land disputes, according to the minister, is at an advanced stage in concluding its work.
The minister explained how the newly established standard operating procedures have contributed in restoring sanity to a sector that had been marred by corruption and controversie over the years.
Minister Turad assured the chief minister that the sector would be the envy of the nation by December of this year after he would have successfully activated all the strategies in line with the President’s vision.
He used the forum as an opportunity to salute the bravery of his staff at the ministry who continue to support his vision in a professional manner.
Alleged Land Fraudster Remanded
SaffiatuKamara on Wednesday 30th June 2021 testified against one Mohamed Kutubu who was on Wednesday 30th June 2021 arraigned before Magistrate SahrKekura at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 in the on-going Preliminary Investigation into allegations of fraud.
According to the indictment, the accused Mohamed Kutubu on diverse dates between March and April 2021, at Jui and SaniAbacha Street in Freetown, obtained from SaffiatuKamara the sum of eleven million, five hundred thousand Leones by fraud other than by false pretences.
Prosecution Witness and victim SaffiatuKamara, a petty trader and a resident of Elbanks Street in Freetown recognized the accused person in the dock, whom she came to know through her mother-in-law. She recalled between March and April 2020. She said on the 17thMarch 2020 the accused met her and informed her that he had two town lot of land for sale at Jui.
“I expressed interest over the plot of land, but I told him I was going to discuss the issue with my husband. Before long, my husband, Sidique Sheriff, together with my mother-in-law and the accused visited the site,” she told the court.
She added that the accused identified the plot of land, adding that she paid five million Leones to the accused.Â
At this stage, Magistrate SahrKekura stopped the proceedings and asked the Prosecution to continue on the next adjourned date, for according to him, the Prosecution had not properly interviewed the witness.
The Defence Counsel requested for bail on behalf of his client, noting that bail is an unfettered discretion of the Magistrate. He therefore urged the Magistrate to exercise that discretion to his client.
He canvassed his bail plea on Section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act. He also cited Rule 2 and 3 of the Bail Regulation which provides that in this circumstance, if the Prosecution wishes to object to bail, they must do so through an affidavit of support.
However, the Prosecuting Counsel disclosed that they had earlier served an affidavit which was includedin the court file. But the Defence Counsel stood up and discredited the said affidavit.
Magistrate SahrKekura noted that the accused had appeared before him several times in respect of such matters. The matter comes up again.
Ambassador Sesay Engages S/Leoneans in UAE
Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday 7 July 2021 – Sierra Leoneâ€™s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, UAE, RashidSesay has met with the Sierra Leonean Community in Umm Al Quwain, in continuation of his engagement tour of the UAE.
Umm Al Quwain is one of seven Emirates of the UAE and sits in the north of the country with a considerable number of Sierra Leoneans, mostly working in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors.
Delivering his address, the Sierra Leone Envoy said that the dialogue session was part of his drive to meet with Sierra Leoneans living in all the seven Emirates of the UAE to discuss their challenges, explain the role of the Embassy and provide them with the necessary information that would guide their stay in the Gulf state.
He said that it was the responsibility of the Embassy to serve the interest of all Sierra Leoneans and assured that they were committed to extending an helping hand to everyone on issues within their mandate and the laws of the host country.
Ambassador Sesay also spoke on several emerging issues of concern including visa acquisition and its various categories, overstaying, passport expiration and the recent suspension from the UAE authorities on travelers from Sierra Leone. He also encouraged Sierra Leoneans to stay away from crimes and be law abiding, emphasizing that their conducts would reflect on the image of the country. Speaker after speaker commended the Ambassador and team for making time to meet with them while expressing the need for continuous engagement.