• July 18, 2023

Magistrate Ngegba Slams Sharia-law with 5yrs Sentence

Magistrate Ngegba Slams Sharia-law with 5yrs Sentence
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Fifty-nine year old John Sharia-law Conteh was on Tuesday 18 July 2023, sentenced to a jail term of five years imprisonment by Magistrate Mark Ngegba of Pademba Road Court No1, for unlawful possession of human skull and bone after he pleaded guilty to the offences.

The convicted accused was arraigned on five counts charges ranging from possession of small arms without license contrary to Section 11(1) of the Arms and Ammunition Act 2012 Act No 9 of 2012, unlawful concealment of arms, practicing sorcery, possession of instrument of sorcery all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the charge sheet, the accused on Tuesday 2 May 2023, at Five Mile Newton, Waterloo in the Western Rural District, was found in possession of two short guns without licence.

Police further alleged that the accused on the same date and place was found in possession of instrument of sorcery to wit, 1 human skull, wrapped with red thread, 1 half suspected human bone, 1 old aluminium chain, three bottles containing substance suspected to be native medicine herbs, small calabash, 1 cup containing red substance suspected to be human blood, 1 box containing red cloth and one cap suspected to be cobra skin.

Prior to his sentencing, the exhibit clerk  Detective Sergeant 8576 Issa Kamara led in evidence by Sergeant 9938 Lahai M. said he is attached to the Exhibit Clerk’s office at the Criminal Investigation headquarters Pademba Road in Freetown.

He added that on 8 May 2023, he was on duty at CID when DPC 13374 Bockarie M. attached to the  Major Incident Unit CID handed over to the following exhibits which includes human skull wrapped with red thread, human bone, 1 aluminium chain, 4 gold  colour chains and 4 silver rings, 3 empty bottles, small calabash, one old butcher knife, 4 small kitchen knives, one cup with substance suspected to be human blood, one cup containing grain human bones, 1 cobra skin and one empty box.

The said exhibits, he said were registered in the court’s exhibit book. They were all produced and tendered in court marked respectively as exhibits.

At the conclusion of his evidence, the prosecutor in a brief facts said that on the 1 May 2023, a group of herbalists including their national president made a visit to the resident of the accused where they discovered the above exhibits and that in that respect he was arrested and taken to the police stated and subsequently transfer to CID where he was charged.

He pleaded guilty in court to the offences charge, saying that he inherited the said items from his father.

His defence lawyer in his plea mitigation said his client did not waste the time of the court, adding that he is a first time offender and a bread winner to his family. He therefore pleaded with the bench to temper justice with mercy.

Magistrate Ngegba having listened to the plea mitigation made by the defence counsel, convicted the accused to a jail term of 12 month imprisonment each on all five counts to be run concurrently.

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