The alarming spate of violence among young people has become a serious security threat and concern for the government and meaningful Sierra Leoneans in fear of any youth’s outrage that will result to chaos and conflict that will affect the country’s development and peace.
There has been series of youth violence across the country ranging from politics, gang violence and robbery that has resulted in the loss of lives and properties and because of these alarming rates, the government through the Sierra Leone Police has decided to implement stern measures to combat youth violence in the country.
At the Siaka Stevens Street Court in Freetown, Presiding Magistrate Aboubhakarr Binneh Kamara on Monday sentenced over 15 youths to the Pademba road male Correctional Centre to a maximum term of two years or to pay fines ranging from two million to three million Leones (Le 2-3m) each.
According to court proceedings and police report these youths including Ansumana Bangura, Omoh Mahoi, Sorie Kamara, Idrissa Koroma, Aboubhakarr Sesay, Gibrilla Jalloh, Abubakarr Dumbuya, Momoh Kamara, Abdul Ngaba, Junior Conteh, Abubakarr Sow, Abubakarr Sesay, Alusine Jawara, William Johnson among many others were found wanting and pleaded guilty to a crime of carrying offensive weapons and loitering without any lawful authority in the Freetown Jurisdiction contrary to section 16(1) of the Public Order Act of 1965.
Magistrate Kamara warned, “youth violence has become a serious issue that we have to deal with vigorously and therefore as a Magistrate I will punish and jail anyone found guilty of gang violence and crime.”
Also at Magistrate Court No.1, ten Drug Peddlers were separately sentenced to 15-16-17 and 18 months imprisonment or to pay fines up to one million three hundred thousand Leones after pleading guilty to a crime of selling drugs without license.
Zainab Kamara, Salieu Momoh Kargbo, Fatmata Koroma, Memunatu Turay, Alimamy Mansaray, Gibril O. Tarawally, Kadiatu Foday Kamara, Kadiatu Kamara, Adamsay Bangura and Isatu Sankoh were charged to Court on one count of contraception requirement under section 59 of the Pharmacy and drugs act 2001 to wit selling drugs without license contrary to law.
Magistrate Binneh Kamara emphatically stated that illegal drug selling in the country is a threat to national security noting that most of these drugs sold on the street are the main cause of violence among youths because of their exposure to these drugs without proper prescription, “these are the people selling dangerous drugs to people”.
He warned that the maximum punishment for such crime is 5yrs and therefore he will sentence the accused according to the seriousness of the crime but after a strong mitigation plea from Defense Counsel Julian Cole, the sentencing was reduced to 1yr six months or pay Le 1.3m each.