By Mohamed Kai
A Nigerian businessman, Stanley Oluchi Uzoho has been kept at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown, by Magistrate Santigie Bangura presiding over the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1 at Siaka Steven Street in Freetown for importing Heroin substance into Sierra Leone from the Republic of Mozambique illegally.
The accused person is charged with the offence of Conspiracy to Commit an Offence to wit Importation of a Drug to wit Heroin, which contravenes Section (15) of the National Drug Control Act of 2012.
The Charge Sheet states that the accused was arrested at the Freetown International Lungi Airport, in the Kafu Bullom chiefdom, Port Loko district in the northern part of Sierra Leone.
He is alleged to have conspired with other persons unknown to import five kilograms of Heroin substance into Sierra Leone from the Republic of Mozambique between the dates of Friday 1st September 2017 and 29th June 2018.
In his testimony, the first Prosecution Witness, Detective Mohamed Malam Bangura attached to the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (Toku) of the Sierra Leone Police headquartered at Hastings as Exhibit Clerk recalled the incident of 30th June 2018.
He testified that on the said date he was on duty at the TOCU when Detective Inspector Mansaray, also attached at TACU handed over certain exhibits to him for safe keeping.
Detective Bangura went on to say the said exhibits included five Kilograms of Heroin substance, two Republic of Nigerian passports with serials numbers, bearing the name of the accused person, Stanley Oluchi Ozoho.
The witness further said he received immigration travelling details, one Kenyan airway traveling ticket and one brown suitcase and other assorted items, which were produced and tendered in evidence.
The second prosecution witness, who is a forensic expert, Alestine Taucker also told the court that she is Superintendent of Police and a staff of the Sierra Leone Police Analytical Laboratory Department at Connaught Hospital in Freetown.
She recalled on the 30 June 2018 that the said five kilogram heroin substance was handed over to her for forensic examination and findings.
At the conclusion of the examination, the witness went on; she found out that the five kilogram heroin in question is Diacetylmorphine, meaning it has active ingredients found in heroin substance.
According to Superintendent Alestine Taucker, she used the presumptive and confirmative test methods to reach at and reduced her findings into a report, which she later presented to officials at the Transnational Organized Crime Unit headquarter at Hastings in the outskirt of Freetown.
Lead Counsel for the accused Stanley Oluchi Ozoho, M. Jusu canvassed the presiding magistrate to put the accused person on bail, but that the police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP Ibrahim S. Mansaray vehemently opposed to bail, on the grounds that the accused person is a foreigner and the offence preferred against him is very serious.
After listening to the submissions of the persecution and the defense, Magistrate Santigie Bangura ruled that due to the nature of the offence preferred against the accused person, he would not admit the accused, Stanley Oluchi Ozoho to Bail.
He ordered that the accused person should be remanded at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown, and adjourned the matter to Tuesday 14 August 2018.