23 opposition APC members and supporters granted bail by High Court

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 August 2019:

Twenty-three members and supporters of Sierra Leone’s main opposition APC who were arrested in Freetown for various offences, ranging from riotous and violent conduct to destruction of property, were today granted bail after their case was committed to the High Court.

Bail conditions for each of the accused were set by Justice Simeon Alieu at the High Court No.1 at Two Hundred Million Leones (Le200,000,000) plus one surety, who must be a resident in the Western Area; and that each surety providing individual proof of address, along with their Identification Cards to the Master and Registrar of Courts. All accused were also required to surrender their travel documents with the Court.

The accused were arrested and charged after violence broke out on Monday 29th July 2019, at Hamilton village in Freetown, where it is alleged that they attacked the parliamentary by-election candidate of the SLPP – Josephine Jackson, destroying property and causing grievous bodily harm.

The 23 have been named as: Ibrahim Conteh, Dauda kallon, Mohammed Alafia Sesay, Karamoh Kabba, Christopher Jones, Ishmael Koroma, Alhaji Kamara, Ishmael Conteh, Brima Marah, Mohammed Sesay, Abdullai Bundu, Momodu Sesay, Baba Kargbo, Mohammed Jalloh, Mohammed Sesay, Amara Kanneh, Moses Musa Koroma, Victor Dougherty, Osman Conteh, Musa Samura, Mohammed Kamara, Sorie Gabriel and Marie Pastor Kamara.

Lead defence Counsel – Melron Nicole-Wilson Esq. requested bail for the accused who had already spent over a month in jail, after being denied bail by Magistrate Hannah Bonnie.

Counsel – Melron Nicole-Wilson Esq told the Judge that the accused persons are entitled to their basic right to the presumption of innocence – a constitutional right which he said is guaranteed by section 23(4) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

He told the court that: “The accused persons has been behind bars for over 4 weeks now, and all accused persons with traveling documents are willing to surrender them to show commitment to the trial. They also have reliable sureties to enter into their recognizance,” and that the accused will not interfere with the prosecution witness, nor will they jump bail. He assured that all accused persons will be present on all adjourned dates.

In response, State Counsel Y.R. Sesay Esq. said that the prosecution is not adverse to bail, but drew the court’s attention to the nature of the offenses, alleged to have been committed by the accused. (Photo above: Defence counsels for the accused led by Barrister Melron Nicole-Wilson Esq – dressed in head wig). 

“You must consider the nature of the offenses of Public Order Offenses, Wounding with Intent contrary to section 18, Wounding Contrary to Section 20, Malicious Damage contrary to section 11, 12, and 51 of Offenses Against the Persons act of 1965,” Sesay Esq. added.

After granting bail, Judge Simeon Alieu ordered that the accused return to the High Court on 18th September, 2019, for commencement of trial.

They have all been charged with riotous conduct, disorderly behaviour, throwing missiles, malicious damage, grievous bodily harm, wounding with intent,  threatening language, public insult, assault – occasioning bodily harm, provocation and abusive language, and other related chargers.

But the APC party has expressed concern for the continued detention of its former mayor of Freetown – Herbert Williams and the former chief of staff at State House – Dr Richard Konteh.

“The Western region APC Chapter would like to expresses its immeasurable appreciation to the lead defence counsel – Melron Nicol Wilson (Esq) and team, for their professional and outstanding representation, providing bail for our family members who were unlawfully detained and unjustifiably denied bail against the principles of human rights, justice, fair trial and dignity,” a statement by the Western Region APC Chapter reads.

Source Credit: Ishmahil O.T. Bangura 

14 Comments

  1. Indeed it only gets better and better! What an honor to now have one of the brightest, most clear sighted, savvy minds on this forum Mr Alimamy Turay, shower a roaring young lion, vigilantly guarding the terrains of the APC with praises. He had me completely overwhelmed and smiling without emotional restraint, like a 5 year old boy happily gazing at his birthday cake, closely surrounded by his cheering, enthusiastic, little friends. Thanks a million Sir, for your kind and sincere words. Your pragmatic, candid comments, have always served as an inspiration to me on this Forum….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  2. Yes Brahim, I certainly agree with you. From my first encounter with Mr Saidu Conteh (aka ‘The rising Sun’) on this forum, I knew straight away that the man is endowed with the talents of the Queen’s English. Even William Shakespeare would have had a problem with Saidu Conteh – he is one of those, some in this forum cannot resist to be envious of.

    I also agree with Michael Koroma that Saidu Conteh could be a good speech writer – without the anger, of course. But I think his anger is inadvertently brought out by the sheer ineptitude of the present government. It is not a partisan thing – we have to call a spade, a spade. We have to talk about the wongs and the goods. That is the only way that will position this country towards the path of genuine and sustainable development. No Hypocrisy, but Patriotism and Honesty.

    It is nice to have Saidu Conteh on your side. He will just look at the opposition, and they will melt away… ‘The Rising Sun’ is at his best when describing a setting: read his description of the birth of Kwame Nkruma of Ghana. Welcome back Saidu.

  3. Hang on. have Mr. Herbert Williams and Dr. Richard Konteh not been granted BAIL yet? What about the INVESTIGATION into the Mrs. Fatmata Edna Kargbo SAGA? Are the EVIDENCE for PROSECUTION not just there? We shall see. JUSTICE DELAYED is JUSTICE DENIED in my view. DISCUSS!

  4. Gentlemen – Brahim and Michael Koroma, I thank both of you for your kind words and thoughtful advice. I will thoroughly examine and keep them in mind. I am deeply humbled and grateful – your sincere utterances are truly, highly appreciated I now wish to thank the Sierra Leone Telegraph for displaying an exemplary act of genuine Patriotism and leadership, by providing an anxious world looking for answers to life’s perplexing problems, with a crucial, invaluable Platform as this one, so that everyone who wishes to do so will be able to express their heartfelt concerns, hopes, beliefs and ideas.

    Gentlemen, I thank you once again for your candour,and sincerity. Your words,i must admit,have a sweet smelling fragrance, equalling those that emanate from the rarest, most mesmerizing perfumes made from fresh Aloes, Lavender, and the characteristic Jasmine…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. The APC party will always believe in violence because that is in their DNA. But by the grace of the Almighty, this SLPP government will do whatever it takes to teach Sierra Leoneans that it’s better to wage battles in the courthouse rather than the streets which usually result to the destruction of lives and property.

    The SLPP doesn’t believe that you have to intimidate or wage war against your opponents in your so called stronghold. That’s why the four current independent Members of Parliament were given the opportunity to campaign freely in their strongholds, and they respected the wishes of the voters without resorting to intimidation and violence.

    I hope the court will continue to prosecute these culprits which I personally believe will send a clear message that the days of violence in politics is over, so hopefully in 2023 we will have a peaceful election.

  6. Saidu Conteh has no shame. It is rather sad to see APC supporters talk about the rule of law. It was the uncivilised APC that introduced violence into our politics, something we are still trying to overcome. It was APC that began killing political opponents in Sierra Leone, including the murder of well known northerners like Dr. Sorie Forna. The less the uncivilized APC talks about the rule of law, the better for Sierra Leone.

  7. Who is Mr Saidu Conteh? What an exceptional and brilliant thinking man. All of his comments are full of raw emotions, spilling over with truth and frankness. Will such a vociferous man be appreciated in our deeply divided Sierra Leone. I sincerely doubt it.

    It seems to me Saidu did not grow up in the African continent, because his direct questions and fiery utterances can hardly, or rarely be heard here. Sometimes the man is funny and poetic; and in other instances – exuberating with unmatched intelligence, passion and anger. Saidu, I totally agree with you, that this SLPP government is on the wrong track. His Excellency President Bio needs to restrategize and reorganize his government as quickly as possible.

    • I could not agree with you more my brother. Mr Saidu Conteh is an exceptionally bright young man (I say young man because I think he himself has told us here that he is young. LoL). But my only problem with Saidu is that he needs to tone down his emotions and use it in a more positive manner.

      I do enjoy his wit and mastery of the Queen’s poetic, Shakespearean English. He will do well as someone’s speech writer but without the fiery, derogatory insults aimed at the opposition. But I guess his anger is triggered by the current political climate, which our president must try and temper with humility, courage to shake hands with the opposition APC, and peace building initiatives.

      I hear people say that APC needs to give SLPP space to govern. Well what I can say is that such statement is a terrible admission of government policy failure to bring all sides to the table to air their grievances. What is professor Francis doing for the government? I find it hard to believe he is a professor in peace studies. Wow.

      There are faults on all sides of our political spectrum; and each must first recognise and accept their faults, and then accept that Sierra Leone as a country suffers when there is no peace in the land.

      Think about this for one moment. Educated young people like Mr Conteh who feels disgruntled and angry with the SLPP government can come to a platform like this to vent their frustrations and anger – and this is good. But what about the thousands of very angry illiterate young people in our country, whose only means of venting their emotions is through the use of violence? Think about it and what caused the 10 year war.

      Please Mr president, find it in your heart to open up a new weekly or monthly rapport with the opposition to explore and review your government’s relationship with them. Through this, we will be able to ease political tensions and develop understanding and greater communication among political parties.

      Finally Mr Saidu, keep up the good work in supporting your APC party, but please remember that matching fire with fire can only burn the house down. if I may say Sir, you are most effective when you use your communication skills to critique the government’s policies – rather than to insult them. :-)

  8. What more space does the ineffective government need in order to operate successfully, thrive and move this nation forward? Who’s holding them back, keeping them pinned down in shackles and chains? Their own poor sense of judgement, tribal attitudes, ineptitude and lack of ingenuity are the deepest holes they have been digging to bury themselves.

    My sources tell me that the Police and SLPP officials were working hand in glove behind the scenes to initiate violence and have APC supporters arrested at all cost. Its clear they achieved their diabolical aims. In 24 hours if you cannot bring charges against Mayor Williams and Dr Konteh, you must cut them loose. Yep, they must walk away as free men, free as birds soaring the skies. That is the law and normal procedure, observed and practiced by all the foremost Democratic nations in the world. We must follow diligently in their footsteps, and not in those of Mussolini, Idi Amin and Adolf Hitler.

    Imagine this for a minute – a coup-plotter that should be in jail for crimes against Humanity is tirelessly at it again, brutally violating and treading on the rights of helpless, innocent Citizens. Push has come to shove – so let them now be advised that it is my intention to file a written complaint, demanding action and drastic intervention to “Human Rights Watch” against the SLPP government, as early as next week, highlighting the unspeakable crimes and atrocities taking place presently in Sierra Leone under the New Failing Direction of Maada Bio.

    The stakes are just too high for us to do nothing, just look and walk away. Rest assured, this criminal government will soon be brought under the most intense spotlight and scrutiny, never seen before in the history of Africa, if they continue in their despicable, shady, lawless ways of governance. Saidu Conteh and a few other fearless young Cubs are guaranteeing it will, and must be so…. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Mr. Conteh is biased, divisive in nature  and has never demonstrated that  he  prefers patriotism over fanatical partisanship. With his rhetorics  he can perhaps impress his ‘chairman for life’ but not the  balanced minded Salone People. The less you write the better for us all. Less is more, don’t forget my advice my friend!!

  9. The only people who need to get their acts together are those dressed in green, holding on to power. Clearly, this is a criminal government, intent on promoting anarchy and mayhem through the blatant, unremorseful abuses of power. Only a despotic, tyrannical government encourages and practices arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention and a puppet like control over a cowardly judicial system.

    It TAKES TWO TO TANGO – where are the SLPP thugs that everyone knows initiated these acts of violence and disorder? Not a word is being said about them. Truly laughable! Listen all of you – this inept government will never be able to thrive and succeed with such a barbaric, corrupt, mean-spirited and criminal mindset. Nope, not gonna happen! These are new times, progressive times – not the old, stale, suffocating, repulsive military days.

    Those who support this inadequate government are going to deeply regret it – they are just plain head scratching naive, and gullible. SLPP supporters are like clueless children who you can easily convince a few pennies can be used to build a massive house. Hilarious! People please, please – make an effort to know the differences between your clueless knees and lazy elbows.

    This SLPP government is heading in the wrong direction, moving quickly towards an eerie self destruction that will incinerate and reduce it to ashes forever. They are using “GESTAPO” tactics – Holding people indefinitely in detention against their will – against the principles of civility, diligence. Law and order can never work in Sierra Leone, our only home. Sadly mistaken!

    Look around you and you will see that there are the most fearless and ferocious lions quietly watching, that will not let such an unforgivable thing ever happen, or become even a distant reality in Sierra Leone. So much work to be done, yet they are wasting precious time, effort and money on a vindictive agenda that will not bring any progress but drag our nation backwards.

    Where are the strong Judicial, Financial and Social institutions that urgently needs to be restructured and revitalized in order for our bankrupt and failed nation to be able to rise gallantly from ashes like a Phoenix, and stand on its own? I don’t see any at all. And when are strategic measures going to be put in place to strengthen our border ,and make them sustainable, credible and profitable?

    Again and again, where are the efficient, transparent tax institutions that this nation so urgently and desperately needs to enhance and increase the collection of revenues? So much serious work and heavy lifting to be done, yet they keep on stupidly involving themselves in petty, trivial things like Children wasting the day away, playing with sand and filthy marbles….Get your act together you say – look in the mirror you clowns dressed in green, you are the ones who need to stop prioritising gross stupidities and incompetence! Rising Sun Will Rise again!

    • You rightly repeat asking the QUESTION : WHERE ARE…?
      YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF, BECAUSE THE PRESENT GOVT. HAS NOT ABOLISHED ANY INSTITUTIONS THAT THE APC HAD LEFT.
      The present Govt. is struggling to make ends meet, infact sometimes you would think they are magicians.

  10. APC folks need to get their acts together. They lost the elections 16 months ago and all they have been doing is perpetrating thuggery and violence. Is that the way to prepare for 2023?

    APC’s strategy to intimidate the Government and people of Sierra Leone has fallen flat. Those engaged in lawlessness as the guys that have just been granted bail must face the music if convicted. Their offenses are very serious, which explains why it took so long to grant them bail.

    The APC must renounce thuggery and violence and join the rest of the law abiding Sierra Leoneans in working towards a prosperous Sierra Leone. The party was in power for eleven years, a period of time which was occasioned by the mass looting of public funds and bringing the country’s economy to the verge of bankruptcy. Is it not fair to give space to the SLPP to correct the wrongs of the past and position the country on the path of growth and development?

    • Yes it would be fair to Sierra Leone as a whole, if the APC gives space to the SLPP. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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