5 February 2013

Sierra Leone: 12 Remanded for Cocaine

Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No. 2 Thursday remanded 12 accused persons who were before him for allegedly being found in possession of substance believed to be cocaine without lawful authority.

The accused persons, Isha Bangura, Louisa Karim, Emmah Kamara, Pa Sorie Bangura, Mustapha Bangura, Kadiatu Baby Saffa, Anita John, Wilfred Showers, Tina Thompson, Neneh Barrie, Fatmata Sowa and Zainabu Denkeh, were docked on 27 counts including unlawful possession of cocaine contrary to Section 8(a) of the National Drugs Control Act No.10 of 2008.

According to particulars of offence available in court, the accused persons on Friday December 7, 2012 at Lumley Street were found in possession of cocaine weighing 15.21g without lawful authority.

In her testimony, Detective Police Sergeant S.E. Conteh, attached to the Transnational Organised Crime Unit at Murray Town, explained to the court that she was on duty when the matter was assigned to her for investigation by a team of police officers who were out on operation at the Lumley Street drug cartel, and arrested the accused persons with some found with hard drugs.

"Between December 7 to 11 last year, myself, DPC 1021 Konneh M., DPC 7810 Bangura A.R., DPC 380 Zizza A. and other police officers, obtained statements from the accused persons. The statements were read and signed by the said officers. A letter was later sent to the Sierra Leone Pharmacy Board for forensic examination of the drugs," she explained.

Sergeant Conteh stated that based on the forensic result, the accused persons were charged with the offence of unlawful possession of cocaine and prohibited drugs.

Defence lawyer Leon Jenkins-Johnston Snr renewed his application for bail to be granted to his clients because they have been in custody for over two months.

According to him, the offence committed is bailable and his clients have reliable sureties to stand for them.

However, Magistrate Kamanda refused the accused persons bail and adjourned the matter to February 8 this year for further hearing.

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