4 July 2012

Sierra Leone: 'Bail Is Not a Gift' - Magistrate Kamanda Affirms

Magistrate of Court No. 2, Komba Kamanda, yesterday told defence lawyers of 27 alleged armed robbers who made their second appearance before him after some of them pleaded guilty to the offence of loitering on their first appearance last week that bail should not be likened to a gift.

Magistrate Kamanda made the statement shortly before he ordered the remand of all accused persons at the Pademba Road maximum security prisons and adjourned the matter to July 10.

The accused persons were arraigned before the court on three counts ranging from loitering, carrying of offensive weapons and other related offences.

The accused persons include Ibrahim Kanu, Abdul M. Sesay, Ishmael Kamara, Mohamed Kamara, Hassan Sesay, Haddy Turay, Umaru Jalloh, Samuel Conteh, Ibrahim Sorie Turay and Augustine Gbenda.

Led in evidence by the state police prosecutor, M.B. Kamara, the witness Sgt. Gibrilla Bangura 5704 attached to the operational division at the central police station, told the court that he could recall June 13 while on duty at the central police station when he got a tip-off from some concerned citizens about the armed robbers within Waterloo, Ferry Junction, Falcon Bridge and King Harman Road communities.

He said that at around 2am, a team of police personnel boarded a vehicle with registration number SLP 066 to visit the named areas. He noted that the first, second and sixth accused persons were all arrested at the Waterloo lorry park with a knife while the seventh, eighth and ninth accused persons were arrested at the same place with four cutlasses. He said the accused told the police that they use the dangerous weapons to attack people.

Bangura continued by telling the court that three other accused persons were arrested at Texaco and Susan's Bay with a giant cutter and the remaining accused persons were arrested at Fisher, Sani Abacha and Malama Thomas Streets with various weapons.

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