The Criminal Session of the High Court of the Republic of Sierra Leone, holden in Port Loko, which commenced hearing with seventy-two (72) criminal cases, ended on the 11th September, 2020 with Justice Samuel O. Taylor sentencing Abdul Kamara for killing Alimamy Kamara, Abu Bakarr Kamara (alias White Boy) for killing Osman Lamin Kamara and Santigie Kamara for killing Amara Turay to death by hanging. This was after the jurors had unanimously returned verdicts of guilty.
According the Section 1 of the Homicide Act 1957 on murder, it is stated that “whosoever shall be convicted of murder shall suffer death as a felon.” And it is clear that Abdulia Kamara, Abu Bakarr Kamara (alias White Boy) and Santigie Kamara will not be executed until the expiration of the time within which a Notice of Appeal or an application for leave to appeal may be given in accordance with Section 212 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1961.
Justice Samuel O. Taylor also sentenced Zainab Bangura to ten years imprisonment for killing her own child. The sentence came after long hours of deliberations by the jurors, but they came out with a verdict of guilty for manslaughter.
It could be recalled that Zainab Bangura, on the 14th day of December, 2019, at Royeama, Lungi Town, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Port Loko District, murdered Mary Kanu. A witness, who testified, said, on the 14th day of December, 2019, the accused came to her house knocking at her door, requesting that she open. She further stated that the accused intimated her that the deceased, her own child, had fallen into the water well, but she said she didn’t tell anyone.
She said the accused spent the night with her, and, in the morning hours, she accompanied her to the house where the accident happened. And they saw the child floating in the well.
On the same day, Justice Samuel O. Taylor sentenced three convicts to thirty-five years imprisonment. Sixty (60) years old Kolleya Kamara was sentenced to 15 years, Mohamed Jakitay to ten (10) years and Foday Kamara to ten (10) years imprisonment. The convicts were separately charged on two counts each – sexual touching of a child, which is contrary to Section 20(1) (a) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2012 Act No. 12 of 2012 and sexual penetration of a child contrary, to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act, 2012 as repealed and replaced by Section 4 (a) (iii) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019, Act No. 8 of 2019.
Justice Samuel O. Taylor also sentenced Mohamed Bangura (alias Chicken), Mohamed Conteh (alias Med Kay) and Abu Bakarr Sulaiman Kamara to ten years imprisonment each, after being convicted for manslaughter.
The particulars of offence reveal that, on the 19th day of October, 2019, at Lungi town, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Port Loko District, the accused unlawfully killed Santigie Kanu (alias Emperor). Evidence revealed that the deceased met his death after two clique groups had a bitter altercation on group supremacy. Amadu Jalloh and others, who were charged on six counts with larceny cattle, contrary to Section 3 of the Larceny Act of 1916, were also convicted. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment each and are to be run concurrently.
One of the aims of the Criminal Session of the High Court is to ensure that overcrowding at various Correctional Centers is swiftly and accurately addressed. Hence, accused who were charged with murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent and of which evidence for conviction were absent, were discharged, acquitted and discharged.
Locals, who were standing at the court vicinity, expressed appreciations to the Chief Justice, Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, for what they described as effective and transparent justice delivery.
An octogenarian, Mohamed Kamara said “The Chief Justice has manifested his unreserved love for the people of Port Loko. Our sons and daughters have been sentenced for long years. Some will make it and others will not. Notwithstanding this, we will experience perfect night rest. Their peers have today learnt from the outcomes of the trials of their brothers and sisters.”