Sierra Leone: Detective Sergeant 8382 Suma R.B. attached to the Transnational Organised Crime Unit, Hastings Police Station, testified against Mariama Jaguraga and Abass Alhaji Kabba in the on-going preliminary investigation into allegations of child trafficking.
Both accused were on Tuesday 6th April 2021 arraigned before Magistrate Mark Ngegba at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 to answer to questions in respect of the charges levied against them.
According to the police, both accused trafficked 13 children from Kundoma village via Masiaka for the purpose of exploitation to The Gambia.
Consequently, the accused persons faced 15 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit human trafficking and engaging in human trafficking, all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The indictment indicated that the accused on diverse dates from 1st to 8th February 2021 conspired with unknown persons to traffic Ishmael Fatorma, Isata Sogbeh, Foday Mattia, Christian Albert, Sao Fatorma and eight others from Kundoma village, Bo district via Masiaka for the purpose of exploitation in The Gambia.
The indictment also said the accused on the same day and place engaged in trafficking in person by recruiting, transporting and transferring the 13 children from Kundoma village via Masiaka for the purpose of exploitation in The Gambia.
Led in evidence by prosecutor I.T. Bangura, the witness recognised both accused and recalled 28th February 2021, the day of the alleged incident.
He said on that day, he was on duty at the office when he received a case and enquiry file which contained the complainant’s statement from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Pademba Road, Freetown.
Sergeant Suma said he then obtained statements from both accused separately by observing the Judges’ Rules.
He furthered that on 27th March 2021 he led a team of police officers together with the second accused (Abass), and visited the crime scene at Masiaka.
He said at the scene they identified the house where both accused were living with the victims.
The witness continued that on 28th March 2021 he charged both accused with the offences of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and engaging in human trafficking, all contrary to law.
At the end of his testimony, the witness was cross examined by lawyer I.S. Conteh who also made an application for bail for his clients.
Magistrate Ngegba refused bail, and adjourned the matter to 13th April 2021. SKS/7/04/2021