APC Councilor, Headman Convicted
After spending 7 nights at the Correctional Centre on Pademba Road in Freetown, the Headman for Kerry Town, Misbao Kamara and the sitting Councilor for Ward 373, Constituency 105 in the Western Rural District, Sillah Kamara on Monday 3rd February, 2020 pleaded guilty on 3 count charges ranging from conspiracy, malicious damage to trespass contrary to the common law of Sierra Leone.
After the two convicts asked for mercy before the learned Judge, George Samai of Magistrate Court No. 2, Ross Road, the led defense counsel for the convicts, M.S Mansaray submitted that it is obvious and certain that time may come when one will be in conflict with the law but it should not be the end of life.
He pleaded with the magistrate to forgive the convicts for their wrongs. “My Lord you have the power to acquit and discharge,” he told the court and appealed to the magistrate to give the convicts minimal fine considering the economic situation of the country.
He maintained that the convicts are custodians in the community, advancing that if a custodian sentence is given to them, the whole community would suffer.
He further submitted that the convicts have people behind them and mouths to feed and assured the court that the convicts will do it no more.
Mansaray raised that the first accused, Councilor Sillah has three months old baby and cautioned the magistrate to land his pen with a minimal strength of an ant.
Lawyer M.S Charles who represented the complainant, Mr. James Kamara argued that the purpose of criminal law is to ensure that crime is curtailed and not compromised adding that it is a recipe for the convicts to repeat the same crime. He emphasized that the convicts are stakeholders who supposed to comport themselves exemplarily and stressed that the law must be enforced accordingly to ensure such irregularities perpetrated by the convicts never be repeated. “My Lord such a matter needs not be compromised,” he informed the court, adding that the convicts are well known to be notorious land grabbers in the entire district.
However, Magistrate George Samai discharged the convicts on count one, but levied a fine of one million five hundred thousand Leones (Le1, 500.00) each for count two which is to be paid to the complainant, James Kamara, on count three, each convicts is to compensate complainant the sum of two million Leones.
The led defense counsel for the convicted persons, M.S Mansaray applied that they be given the opportunity to pay the money by installment. He said they have been ordered to pay the money and referenced Section 233 which has to do with order for payment of money. He said the same section gives the magistrate power to use discretion and stated that he would be bold to say that the convicts would pay 60% of the money on the same day and promised to pay the remaining 40% by next Monday.
Magistrate Samai granted the application made by the led defense counsel and issued stern warning to the convicts to stay away from any activity which may batter their characters as community stakeholders. The matter was prosecuted by Inspector JP Turay.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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