APC MP Arms and Ammunition Matter: Witness Cross-examined

The matter between the State and Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh and two others came up again yesterday before principal Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1, where the witness Mohammed Sannoh, Head of Anti-smuggling Unit at Queen Elizabeth Quay, was cross-examined by defence counsel.

It was alleged by police that Hon. Conteh, Nabieu Bangura and Agnes Kortu conspired together to import arms and ammunition into the country without licence.

Responding to questions by defence counsel Emmanuel Teddy Koroma on behalf of the first accused (Nabieu), the witness said that he was the head of anti-smuggling unit at the quay.

He said he had worked at the quay for 3 years and about a year and six months he had been in that position as head of anti-smuggling unit and during those few years, he had acquainted himself with the job.

He said he knew what a delivery order is and if seen he would recognize it.

He was asked by defence counsel to tell the court whose name was written as the consignee on the delivery order and he responded that the name of Unisa Bangura (the 1st accused) was written on the delivery order as the consignee.

The said delivery order was tendered in court as exhibit A2 when the witness was giving his testimony.

Defence Counsel Emmanuel Teddy Koroma requested that the delivery order be shown to the witness, and when he looked at it, the name written as the consignee was Aruna Rahim and not Unisa Bangura.

The witness further confirmed that Aruna Rahim is the name also written in the invoice note as the consignee, and the invoice was also tendered in court as exhibit A1.

He therefore confirmed to the court that there was no written name of Unisa Bangura in any of the documents.

The witness said that during the time the arms and ammunition were discovered, he received a call from one Foday Fofanah and he could not tell whether it was Foday who made the discovery about the said guns but he was the one who called him to attention and before going there he called Mohammed Kabba Massaquoi, who was PW1.

The witness continued that when he went to the scene, he saw a plastic bag inside a Pathfinder Jeep and the plastic was already opened when he arrived at the scene.

He said that the content of the plastic was of suspected arms and ammunition but they didn’t bring out the content out of the plastic till when they went to Massaquoi’s office that they discovered what was the content of the plastic.

He said that at Massaquoi’s office, he was present together with Mohammed Kabba Massaquoi, ASP Isatu Kargbo, Gibril Kamara, Victor Mauna, Sheriff who was the shipping agent, an OSD officer called Lebbie and other members of staff assigned to Massaquoi’s office.

When asked as to what was the content of the plastic, he said what he saw were seven suspected pistols, twelve suspected magazines and 100 rounds of suspected bullets.

He said he could not tell whether the suspected bullets were assembled or not because he was not an expert.

He was further asked whether he was aware of a scanning process at the quay to verify the contents of containers and vehicles and he responded in the positive.

When asked if the vehicle was scanned at the quay, he responded that the container went through the scanning process but the vehicle in which the arms were discovered was not scanned.

He was also asked by defence counsel whether the container that had gone through the scanning process was verified and he also replied in the positive that the container was verified and did go through the process.

He said that while at Massaquoi’s office, Honorable Conteh called the first accused (Nabieu), who also met them at the office, and he took ownership of the items.  He also said he was not aware that the first accused denied the said allegations.

JM Jengo on behalf of the second accused (Agnes) asked the witness whether at the time he arrived at the scene, the vehicle where the alleged arms were discovered was already opened, and he replied in the positive.

He said that when he was summoned by Foday Fofanah he only looked at the plastic but did not peruse it.

He said Mohammed Kabba Massaquoi instructed OSD Lebbie to take the said plastic to his office, adding that the items they took from the vehicle were the same items they counted at Massaquoi’s office.

Both defence counsel Lansana Dumbuya and Melron Nicole Wilson, representing the third accused Hon. Conteh, were absent in court hence an adjournment was taken.

State Counsel Yusuf Isaac Sesay said that there was a representative for the third accused and so they could do the cross examination.

Magistrate Kekura said that the offence before him was a very serious one that involved arms and ammunition therefore they should allow the lawyers that had started the matter to continue it.

He then told the other defence counsel representing the third accused to inform both counsel to be in court on the next adjourned date to do their cross examination. The accused are on bail and the matter continues on 6 September 2021

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