The military court martial has handed down its first sentence on two soldiers by sentencing them to serve a jail term and one to be dismissed after serving prison sentence.
18177236 Private Amara Gbao and 18181288 Private Gibara Anthony were both sentenced and Private Anthony would be dismissed after serving his sentence.
Private Anthony was arraigned before the court for damage of public property and service property of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces whilst Private Gbao was arraigned for an alleged assault on Military Police Cpl Abdul Johannes Bangura, causing him serious bodily harm.
Lawyer Cole, representing the accused, pleaded to the court to tamper justice with mercy, stating that the accused had rendered long term service to the nation.
Judge Advocate for the court martial, Justice Ademusu, said the court listened to both the complainant and the accused with their witnesses cross examined by the Court Board, Prosecutor and the Defence team.
He added that the evidence gathered against the accused, Private Amara Gbao RSLAF 18177236 for the alleged assault and bodily harm on Military Police Cpl Abdul Johannes Bangura RSLAF 18178845 at Goderich on 31st December 2006, would be determined by the President of the court martial Major Mohamed Hashim.
Justice Ademusu warned the court’s president to dispense justice without fear or favour as mandated by the court.
Delivering his verdict the court’s President, Major Mohamed Hassim on behalf of the court board, sentenced the accused Private Amara Gbao RSLAF 18177236 to six months in prison.
He said the decision of the court would be subjected to confirmation by the conveying officers of RSLAF for its implementation to the later as mandated by the constitution.
Private Gbao, 35, spent 85 days awaiting trial. He was enlisted into the army in 1995, and has two dependants but not married.
Meanwhile the prosecutor of the court martial, Lawyer AR Mansaray, opened another case file involving a military ‘Pinzgaver’ with registration No 22SL98 driven by Private Gibara Anthony of RSLAF 18181288 of regimental headquarters transport squadron who on Wednesday 29th November 2006 packed and stole fuel from the vehicle’s tank he was using that eventually left him and the vehicle engulfed in fire.
The vehicle in question was assigned to Lt Commander Mansaray, the Commanding Officer of the Maritime Wing Murray Town, for his official use. Both the Commander and the accused resided at Goderich Barracks.
The accused admitted committing the act which facilitated the proceedings, and only one witness was cross-examined by the court Lt. Musa Karifa Mansaray of the Transport Squadron Joint Logistics Unit read the antecedents of the accused.
The Judge Advocate and the Board had no alternative but to pass verdict on the case, which was read by the Court President, Major Mohamed Hashim, that Private Gibara Anthony of RSLAF 18181288 would be sent to two yeara’ imprisonment and dismissal from the RSLAF for damage of public and service property.
The verdict of the court is subjected to confirmation by the convening officers.
The two convicted officers were handcuffed and hurriedly marched by the Military Police for imprisonment, despite a little bit of delay to convey them due to lack of a vehicle which was reportedly under maintenance.
By Saidu Bah