By Musa Paul Feika
Joseph Kowah is standing trial at the Ross Road Magistrate Court No.1, which is presided over by Magistrate Alhaji Suliaman Koroma, for allegedly stealing one Sprinter Mercedes van, with Registration No. AOM 285 worth millions of Leones. The van was entrusted to him by the complainant, Victoria Kamara, for the purpose of maintenance.
Police prosecution witness, Detective Police Constable 13926, Obi Windfall Koroma, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Central Police Division in Freetown, in his testimony, told the court that he recognized the accused and could recall 21st March, 2020.
According to him, on that day, he was on duty at the Criminal Investigation Department at the Central Police Division when the complainant, Victoria Kamara, arrested the accused and brought him into the above mentioned Unit in respect of larceny.
He added that the matter was assigned to him for further investigation. He informed that, on the same date, he obtained statements from the complainant and her witnesses.
The witness recounted that, on the same date, he obtained a voluntary caution statement from the accused and, at the end of the statement, the accused admitted it to be true and correct by affixing his right hand thumbprint, which was witnessed by Detective Police Constable, 14969 Kamara M.N.
The voluntary caution statement of the accused was produced and tendered, marked as exhibit A1-10.
On the 1st April, 2020, the witness went on, a government vehicle examiner, whose name was not indicated, conducted an examination on the vehicle with registration No. AOM 285, in the presence of the complainant and the accused, Joseph Kowah. At the end of the vehicle examination, the report was given to him. It was also produced and tendered in court to form part of the court`s records.
On the 20th May, 2020, the witness rounded up his testimony, detailing that he charged the accused with the offence of larceny, an offence that is contrary to law.
The defence counsel, Randy S. Bangura, defending the accused, in cross examination, put it to the witness that the complainant took the vehicle to the accused for maintenance. The witness replied in the affirmative.
Lawyer Bangura put it to the witness, again, that there was contractual relationship between the accused and the complainant. In his response, the witness said he was not aware. Mr. Bangura asked the witness whether he knew how long the vehicle was in the hands of the accused. The witness said no.
Mr. Bangura attempted to renew his application for and on behalf of the accused, but bail was fervently refused by the presiding magistrate who stated that the accused was initially put on bail, but he jumped bail for three months.
The accused was sent on remand at the Male Correctional Centre, Pademba Road in Freetown and the matter was adjourned to 2nd October, 2020.