Magistrate Court No 1 on Siaka Steven in Freetown was on Monday the centre of attention as renowned Lawyer Robert B Kowa made an application requesting for the “Minister of Information, Mohamed Bangura to be subpoenaed to Court”.
Kowa said “I’m very concerned with the utterance of the Minister of Information Mohamed Bangura on radio, I apply that he be subpoenaed before the Court and be warned about his utterance with regards to the matter.”
Lawyer Kowa urged Magistrate Aboubhakarr Binneh Kamara to summon the Information Minister and caution him about defamatory statements made against their clients, Theresa Lusenie Gbomaya and Bakai Kolofela while the matter is being investigated in Court noting that the Minister made derogatory statements against the accused during an interview on FM 98.1 radio Democracy which is against the Court procedure.
The court room was fully packed with over 30 Lawyers announcing their representation for the accused while family members, sympathisers and Human Rights activists struggled to squeeze themselves in the crowded room to observe the proceedings.
Outside the Courtyard while the Court proceeding was on going, students from various institutions protested against the detention of the accused, holding placards with inscription “free Theresa”.
The accused Theresa a student of Fourah Bay College and Bakai were last week arraigned in Court on two counts of incitement and publication of false news through social media (Whatsapp) as means to ignite and provoke instability within the country thereby threatening peace.
However Theresa and Bakai had been granted bail of Le50m and two sureties in like sum after being refused bail last Friday and spent the weekend at the Correctional facilities in Freetown for allegedly using “Watsapp” to incite students country wide to set ablaze vehicles plying the street on 17th November 2016.
Lead defence Lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala also made application for the discharge of the matter on the grounds that “Prosecution is not ready and prepared to prosecute, this is the 2nd appearance where they have failed to present witnesses or evidences before the court to justify their case.”
In response to R. B. Kowa’s application, Magistrate Kamara told the batteries of Lawyers that he has to listen to the audio recording of the Minister’s interview before he could decide whether to subpoena him to Court therefore he adviced that the recording be made available to the Court.
The matter was prosecuted by state Counsel J M Bull and A Kargbo who argued that the accused has the right to be tried of the offence charged and with the seriousness of the matter objected for the matter not to be discharged.
Among the 33 lawyers representing the accused are A Y Briwa, R B Kowa, Francis B Kaifala, E Saffa Abdulai, H M Gavao, U Koroma, I P Mammie, T Jabbie, A K Musa, L Jenkins-Johnston, W Serry Kamal, M Mewah, S D G Saque Kamanda, H Daboh, M Kpaka, S Lavalie and O C Spencer Coker among many others.
The matter continues on 28th November 2016 for Magistrate Binneh Kamara to give his ruling over the subpoena application.