26 March 2014

Sierra Leone: Prosecution Replies Defence - Two Alleged Nigerian Armed Robbers Have a Prima Facie Case to Answer

The prosecution, in the matter involving two Nigerians who were allegedly found in possession of unlicensed arms, yesterday replied the defence that the accused have a prima facie case to answer.

The prosecution was responding to a no case submission by the defence team, led by C.F. Edwards, who had earlier told the court that the prosecution had failed to establish the culpability of the accused persons because they were not found in possession of the unlicensed gun and giant cutter, as the alleged robbery implement were found buried at Grafton, east of Freetown, while the accused were resident in Juba, west of Freetown, plus the fact that the prosecution relied on intelligence provided by a certain informant.

However, the prosecution, led by Inspector Michael K. Dumbuya, told the court they rely on the evidence of the fourth prosecution witness, Paul Sitta M. Conteh, that the second accused (Prince Kenneth) had in a confessional statement said he was the owner of the giant cutter.

He said that their case has merit based on evidences adduced by all the prosecution witnesses, and which have not been sufficiently discredited despite the no case submission by the defence counsel.

He also submitted that it is unprofessional and unethical for the prosecution to disclose the identity of the informant who led them to apprehend the alleged armed robbers.

He said that the ballistic expert report revealed that the Galie rifle had been used, adding that the prosecution had established a prima facie evidence to warrant the committal of the matter to the High Court.

The said matter, presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrates' Court No.2, involves two Nigerians - Paul Ekechukwu and Prince Duru Kenneth - who were arraigned on two counts of unlawful possession of small arms without license, contrary to section 19(2) of the Arms and Ammunition Act No.14 of 1955, as repealed and replaced by section 19(2)(a)of the Arms and Ammunition Act of 1974.

The prosecution alleges that the accused persons were on 3 January 2014, at Grafton village, found in possession of an unlicensed Galie rifle and a giant cutter.

The magistrate adjourned for ruling.

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