A magistrate court in Sierra Leone has released on bail a university student, Theresa Mbomaya who was detained on 16 November for allegedly sharing a Whatsapp post deemed inciting by the authorities.
Both accused persons, Theresa Lusanie Mbomaya and Bokai Kokofele were last Friday (18 November) remanded after their arraignment for allegedly posting inciting statements on social media.
The prosecution alleged that both accused persons, between Saturday 12 November and Wednesday 16 November, in Freetown, incited students countrywide to set ablaze vehicles plying the streets of Freetown on the night of Thursday 17 November, 2016.
The prosecution further alleges that both accused, between Saturday 12 November and Wednesday 16 November, also in Freetown, published false statements and rumour that would have disturbed the public peace, by threatening to set ablaze commercial vehicles if they failed to stay off the streets on Thursday 17 November, 2016.
The post had called on students to protest the 62% rise in the price of fuel and the economic situation in the country. 20-year-old Theresa Mbomaya, whose case has become a cause célèbre, was released on a bail bond of Le 50million (about $7,000) and two sureties.
Defense counsel Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai says there were no witnesses in court so they’ve asked that the case be thrown out. The court is expected to rule on that at the next hearing.