Five alleged rioters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) were on Monday remanded at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre on allegations of unlawful procession, malicious damage, throwing missiles, riotous conduct and unlawful possession of explosives during the independence celebration in Freetown.
John Smart, Ibrahim Massaquoi, Tejan Sheriff, Alie Sesay and Mohamed Bangura during preliminary investigations at the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1were denied bail by Magistrate Abubakarr Binneh Kamara as a result of prosecution’s objection to bail.
Prosecuting, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samuel Kamara argued that the accused might jump bail or interfere with their witnesses as they have not been led in evidence and that due to the charges levied against the accused he is convinced that the accused pose a security threat and has the potential to disrupt the peace.
The accused were arrested on 27th April 2016 during the Independence celebrations whiles they were gathered at the SLPP party’s headquarter at Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown as they were also celebrating the party’s 65th anniversary.
According to police report on the same date, the accused were involved in an unlawful procession that led to a riotous behaviour and resulted to the malicious damage of one white Land Cruiser belonging to the government of Sierra Leone through the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with damages costing nine million Leones (Le 9m).
On 27th April, the police alleged that the accused were found in possession of explosive to wit six bitter Kola bottle containing mixture of petrol and sand and broken bottles and one mega cola bottle containing mixture of pepper and water without lawful authority.
The accused were arraigned in court on five count charges wherein three accused, John Smart, Ibrahim Massaquoi, and Tejan Sheriff were charged with malicious damage, unlawful procession and riotous conduct while Alie Sesay and Mohamed Bangura were charged with throwing missiles and unlawful possession of explosives contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The accused were represented by A. E. Halloway, A. B. Sannoh, R Gidwany, A. Conteh and V. I. Lansana. The matter continues on 11th May 2016 while the accused were sent back to the Correctional Centre.