All 22 accused persons made their third appearance before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie yesterday 14th August, 2019 on twenty-two counts ranging from Malicious Damage contrary to section 11 of the Malicious Damage Act of 1861, Riotous Conduct contrary to section 12 (1) of the Public Order Act No. 26 of 1965 as repealed and replaced by Act No. 56 of 1973, Disorderly Behavior contrary to section 12 of the Public Order Act No. 56 of 1965 as amended by Sec 15 Act No. 2 of 1973, Throwing Missiles contrary to section 6 of the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965 and 18 other charges.
Cross examining Prosecution Witness (PW) 2 Sahr Sam Ansumana, the Lead Defense Counsel, for all the accused persons Lansana Dumbuya asked if Sahr Sam Ansumana at any time in his statement told the police that he was asked by the complainant Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson to attend a meeting relating to the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) rally which was slated to take place on the 30th of July.
Responding to the Lead Defense Counsel Sahr Sam Ansumana said that he didn’t remember having a gathering or making any statement in a meeting on the 29th of July.
PW2 admitted in his response during cross examination, saying that on the day in question when the crowd of APC supporters was approaching the residence of Prosecution Witness (PW)1, Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson at Hamilton pelting stones; himself and PW1went into hiding upstairs for some time.
PW2 Sahr Sam Ansumana went on to say that during the pelting of stones by APC supporters he only defended himself and escaped but didn’t throw stones at anyone. He added that he didn’t recall telling the police that he threw stones at APC supporters and admitted that the police arrived three hours after being called to rescue them. PW2 denied leading police to arrest the 18th accused person.
PW1 Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson admitted when concluding her testimony before the court that the total amount of damage done to her premises is fifty nine million five hundred thousand Leones.
In her response to cross examination by Lead Defense Counsel Lansana Dumbuya, PW1 Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson further admitted that she is related to PW2 Sahr Sam Ansumana because they all come from Kono and that he visits her house frequently. She denied that she called PW2 to a meeting. PW1 Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson admitted that on the day in question she saw APC supporters rallying and decided to use an annex road from Hamilton junction to Sesay Drive. PW1 said she saw the first accused jumping into her compound from her fence using a ladder, adding that she can’t tell his appearance but can recall that the first accused hit her on her on her leg and that she struggled with him and also shouted.
Defense lawyers called for the Magistrate to adjourn cross-examination to the next adjourned date and applied for bail.
To the surprise of court spectators, Magistrate Bonnie said she will not grant bail to the 23 accused persons because she has been receiving lots of life threatening remarks from one Gibril Bangura on Whatsapp and facebook calling names of lawyers that are his associates. She advised legal practitioners to uphold their profession and not to associate with hooligans. The matter was adjourned to 22nd August, 2019.