It could be recalled that fourteen accused persons who claimed to be members of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) were arrested and later charged with the offences of Riotous Conduct, Throwing Missiles, Threatening Remarks and Disorderly Behavior, all contrary to the Public Order Act of the country’s laws.
The charge sheet further indicated that the accused persons committed the said offences on Monday 31st December 2018 in the Freetown Judicial District in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Renewing his application for bail, lead Counsel representing the fourteen accused persons, the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara said since the commencement of preliminary investigation, the prosecution had not shown any interest to proceed with the matter under adjudication.
He claimed that the charges preferred against the accused persons are bail-able offences, and that the accused persons have been incarcerated for seven days at the male and female correctional centres in Freetown and went on to plead with the presiding Magistrate Santigie Bangura to admit his clients to bail.
The Associating Counsel A. B. Koroma however objected to bail and canvassed the presiding magistrate to give the prosecution one more adjournment to put their house in order for a swift and speedy trial of the fourteen accused persons in the dock.
In light of the submissions from the prosecution and the defense, the presiding Magistrate Santigie Bangura ruled that if the court continues to incarcerate the accused persons, it would appear as if the court is persecuting the accused persons instead of prosecuting them for the offences charged.
He concluded by admitting each accused person to bail in the sum of one hundred million Leones including one surety each; and that the sureties should produce their national identity cards, and passports and that the bail is to be validated by the Master and Registrar of the court.
The fourteen accused persons included the former Minister of Health and Sanitation, Zuliatu Cooper, the former Member of Parliament, Dauda Kallon, Borboh Kamara, Mamoud Conteh, Kadie Howard, Martha Dumbuya, Abubakar Koroma, Alusine Jalloh, Gbassay Kargbo, Alie Sillah, Blessing Jeneba Bangura, Memunatu Bangura, Umu Barrie and Fatmata Sesay.
The matter comes up again on Monday 14th January this year.