By Alieu Kondoh
At the ongoing treason trial involving Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh at the High Court, Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens has ruled that the court will on a conducive working day visit State House.
This comes after one of the defense lawyers for Palo Conteh, J.F. Kamara applied that there must be a locus visit to State House to ascertain the position of the reception, the scanning machine and the metal detector.
Exhibit clerk, Nathanial D. Williams Police Inspector testified and tendered exhibits before Justice Momoh Jah Stevens and twelve Jurors.
He testified that on the 23rd March, 2020 while on duty at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarter in Freetown, he received exhibits from one Detective Constable 15105 A. Sesay.
He said the exhibits were one Block 17 pistol with the serial No EFEF 240 and Magazine containing ten bullets.
He continued that the ammunition was counted by the investigator before it was handed over to him, adding that he also received Block 21 pistol with the serial No LUX 841 Austra plus with two empty magazines in a black (C.K), one damage locker, and a license bearing the name of the first accused person, Palo Conteh.
He said he registered all these items on the court exhibit book against the number 38-2020 which he wants to tender.
Lawyer J.F. Kamara objected that they cannot tender the EFEF 240 because it is not part of the evidence before the court, noting that they are taking the strongest form of objection that the exhibit should not be tendered.
Lawyer J.K. Sesay who was leading the witness objected to J.F. Kamara’s objection saying the EFEF 240 should be tendered urging the bench to give the witness a second chance to describe the exhibit properly.
Justice Momoh Jah Stevens ruled that it cannot be tender in that form because it is not consistence with the evidence before the court and the witness was cross examined and the other exhibits were tendered
The fourth Prosecution witness 18178870 Staff Sargent Dauda Yemi who identified himself as a worker and a Security Officer at State House and the President Lodge and a Close Protection Security to President Bio said that on the 19th March, 2020 he was at State House when a List from the Chief Security Officer at State House brought a list of people that will attend a meeting with the President. He said at that time himself Dauda Yemi, P.C. Gbakie, Sargent Kposowa and Ngiama were at the entrance of the reception at State House, he said P.C Gbakie was at the left side controlling the scanner and Staff Kposowa was at the right hand side, while Ngaiama was at the entrance.
He continued that Staff Sargent Kposowa was holding the list of attendees that were supposed to attend the meeting with the President on that day at State House, he said as the attendees were coming, he saw the first accused person Palo Conteh.
He said the first accused did not go through the right process by putting his bag on the Metal Detector and did not passed through the scanning machine, adding that the accused was in a rush and went straight to him at the reception and handed over the bag to him saying he has his pistol in the bag, and he is going for a meeting with the President and he did not want to go with the pistol, that was after the P.C Gbakie has already told him to scan his bag before going upstairs.
He noted that after the first accused has left the bag he took it to the scanning machine, were he scanned the bag, and discovered that there was a gun in it, which he took to the head of Security Lit. Col. M.M Kposowa and informed him about what has occurred.
The state Prosecutor, A. Fisher asked the witness if he could identify the bag that the First accused gave him, he said yes, but when the bag was shown to him for it to be tendered he said that was not the bag the first accused gave him.
Ady Maculley asked the witness why did he mentioned Ngaima’s name on his testimony, but failed to do so when he made statement to the police at CID, the witness said he did mention Ngaiama’s name to the police, both lawyers for the second and third accused did not cross examine the witness.
The matter has been adjourned for Monday 1st June 2020.