Investigations into the alleged murder of 13-year old, Fatmata Missah, in Nemesedu Village, Kamara Chiefdom, Kono District has revealed that the girl’s father, Komba Missah, was offered a large sum of money in exchange for one of his children for ritual exercises.

In-jail

In the early hours of 3rd December 2016, residents of Nemesedu Village were shocked by the sudden news of the death of Fatmata Missah and the missing body parts, found scattered in different locations.

Komba Missah (the girl’s father) together with Vandi Ansumana, Tamba Mohamed M’boma, Komba Kamanda and Gboma Sessie are presently incarcerated at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre while preliminary investigations continue. The case is being heard before Magistrate Binneh Kamara at the Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.

Prosecution witness, Zainab Turay, a teacher at Gbondu Village, explained that she recalled some time in December, she went to visit her mum at Nemesedu Village when Tamba approached and informed her that he has a mission. She told the Court that the accused didn’t explain but directed her to consult the 2nd accused, Ansumana Vandi.

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Turay said, “I approached Ansumana and asked him about the mission but he refused to tell me stating that I should wait until the day of the mission.”

On 1st December, the 2nd accused, Ansumana met her at Gbondu Village and asked her to take a ride with him and on their way met with the deceased’s father Tamba and together they went to the 3rd accused, Tamba Mohamed M’boma’s house.

“When we entered the room, we met the 3rd, 4th and 5th accused and the 4th accused, Komba Kamanda, showed us three cartons containing United States Dollars. The 1st accused, Tamba Missah, opened one of the cartons and revealed the money”, Turay said. She asked where the money was from.

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The 4th accused, Komba Kamanda, replied, “The money is about the mission I told you about.” The witness said the 5th accused, M’boma Sessie, explained to the 1st accused, “If you hand over one of your children, we will give you one and half cartons of the money”.

The witness, Turay, informed the Court that Tamba Missah volunteered to give one of his children but asked to paid immediately to which the others refused stating that Tamba Missah should complete the mission before they will hand over the money.

After their agreement, the witness said the 4th accused, Komba Kamanda, came with a cup of water with traditional medicines. The 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th accused swore an oath to their allegiance and threatened to kill the witness if she exposed the men.

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On 2nd December, Turay said she was at her office in Gbondo Village, “I the saw the 1st accused by the school signboard talking with his daughter, Fatmata Missah, and I even saw him buying cake and juice for her. After a while, the child returned to school. The next day, 3rd December, I heard that Fatmata Missah was missing.”

After several days of searching, Turay said the body parts of the girl were found and brought to Nemesedu Village. On the 4th December, youths from Lei Chiefdom found the deceased’s head in a bush. The matter was adjourned and will continue on 23rd January 2017.