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Foreigners Caught in Illegal Mining

The presiding Magistrate of the Makeni Magistrate Court, His Worship Mustapha Brima-Jah, has remanded seven (7) accused persons at the Makeni Correctional Center for various criminal offences including alleged illegal mining.

Ikechuku Williams, a Nigerian and  four Ghanaian citizens were alleged to have on  Wednesday 6th October, 2021 at Kabba Ferry River, in Tambaka Chiefdom in Bombali District, involved in mining activities without acquiring the appropriate licences in breach of Section 21(2) of the Mines and Minerals Act, 2009 Act No. 12 of 2009. 

The Magistrate denied bail after the testimony of the 2nd Prosecution Witness, Detective Sergeant Pa Momoh P Kamara, attached to the Mena Police Division.

In his testimony, the 2nd Prosecution Witness told the court that the accused persons were arrested and brought by the Resident Minister of North West. He said that he obtained statements from the Minister, Mrs. HajaKamara, and the accused persons. He said he later conducted an investigation and thereafter charged the accused persons.

In another related matter, Magistrate Brima-Jah denied admitting accused Lamin Koroma to bail for dangerous driving.

It’s alleged that accused Koroma on Friday 24th September 2021 at around 10:00 hours at Yankasa Village along Makeni – Lunsar Highway, in the Makatrie Chiefdom in the Bombali Judicial District, while driving one Terrado Jeep with Registration No. ANF 777, drove in a dangerous manner causing injuries of aggravated nature to Joseph Yomba who is currently at the Emergency Hospital in Freetown.

In his Application for bail in respect of accused Koroma, Lawyer Mansaray said the Application was made pursuant to Section 79 subsection (1) and (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965.

Canvasing His Worship, Lawyer Mansaray reiterated that bail is the discretion of the Magistrate, adding that the accused person is a peaceful citizen who has been very cooperative with the court.

He revealed that the accused is a father of three and the principal breadwinner of his family. He went on to state that his time in detention has created lot of problems for the family as his kids are not going to school and the wife is presently sick. He informed the court that the family of the accused had made frantic and successful efforts in reaching the family of the injured victims.

He assured the Magistrate that his client is not a flight risk and he will avail himself in court whenever he is needed.

Responding to the bail Application, His Worship Magistrate Brima-Jah said the offence for which the accused is charged is a serious one – dangerous driving contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Road Traffic Act No. 5 of 2007.

 “I will consider the issue of bail on next adjournment, the matter is adjourned to 10th November, 2021,” said Magistrate Brima-Jah.

In another criminal matter involving domestic violence, His Worship Magistrate Brima-Jah refused bail to Abu BakarrSesay who is before the court for Domestic Violence contrary to Section 2 (1) (a) of the Domestic Violence Act No. 20 of 2007.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused Abu Bakarr on Friday 29th October, 2021 at John Tucker Street in Makeni physically abused her mother, UmuKargbo, and threatened to kill her with a cutlass.

Magistrate Brima-Jah remanded him in custody and adjourned the matter to the 10th November, 2021.

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