By Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications Unit
The first High Court Criminal Session which commenced on Tuesday 9th March, 2021 in Mongo Bendugu, Mongo chiefdom, Falaba district has ended.
The High Court Criminal Sessions are being held in places where there are no resident Judge. The first Resident Judge of Kabala, Koinadugu District, Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray (J) presided over the cases. The cases ranged from Robbery with aggravation; Sexual Penetration, Causing bodily harm; Larceny and Conspiracy among others.
The Hon. Judge, Justice AR Mansaray and his team were received by the Regent Chief of Mongo Chiefdom, Sheku K. Jawara. At the official opening ceremony, the Regent Chief said it should now be recorded that it was during his tenure that the first High Court sitting commenced.
He used the occasion to commend the Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards for the massive reforms at the Judiciary. He also showered praises on His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for supporting the decentralisation of the justice system.
According to him, democracy can never be sustainable without a fair, effective and efficient administration of justice, and therefore appealed for a resident Magistrate in Mongo Bendugu town.
Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray told the thirteen Section Chiefs and other stakeholders who graced the opening ceremony that they should be grateful to the current leadership for according them such an opportunity to bring a High Court Judge to preside on cases to enhance expeditious trials.
He called on them to support the Judiciary and assured of the construction of a Court in the District headquarter town.
Justice A.R Mansaray reiterated that the High Court sitting is geared towards sustainable peace in the District rather than just keeping people behind bars.
The accused were all represented by Lawyer I. Samba from the Legal Aid Board. The cases were prosecuted by the State Counsel resident in Kabala, AY Mansaray.
Three of the accused were imprisoned by Justice Mansaray. Accused Momodu Samura, was sentenced to three years for Larceny contrary to Section 13 (a) of the Larceny Act of 1916. Accused Sheku Mansaray, was sentenced to two years for assault occasioning to bodily harm contrary to Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861 and accused Alusine Kombor Marrah was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment.
The accused Alusine Kombor Marrah was brought before the Court to answer to three count charges of Sexual Abuse by Person in Trust, contrary to Section 25 (i) (a) of Sexual Offences Act of 2012, Act No. 12 of 2012; Sexual Penetration of a child, contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No. 12 of 2012 as repealed and replaced with Section 4 (a) (ii) of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of No. 8 of 2019 and causing bodily harm with intent, contrary to Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861. The accused pleaded guilty on all the three count charges.
The Judiciary team comprised the Head of Communications, Elkass Sannoh; Registrar of North-West Region-Mohamed Bangura; Registrar of the High Court in Kabala-Andrew Sesay and the High Court Baliff in the North-Issa Jomboi.
In another development, accused Abu Sesay who was accused of receiving a stolen property was acquitted and discharged.