Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Testifying yesterday in the ongoing Court Martial trial, Sergeant Lansana Mansaray another witness of the prosecution said, he fired at the assailants during the attempted coup attack.
Led in evidence by Colonel M.B.S Amara, the witness who is attached at the Five Battalion did say, he came to know about the attack of the armoury from one Military Police, Lance Corporal Kargbo who informed him about happenings at the ammunition site, after hearing of another soldier being disarmed as well.
The Military Police was in civilian attire, after he was able to escape from the assailants.
According to the witness, he and the Military Police plus other officer went to the armoury, carrying along with him a rifle he took from a colleague.
As they were about to enter the Joint Communication Unit Gate, he took cover, but the Military Police was unfortunate and was attacked by a civilian, who was carrying a gun and wearing a mask on his face.
Both the military Police and the officer he said were engaged in a scuffle, but the civilian had a weapon.
He added that he shot at the civilian, but that shot also affected the Military Police. Notwithstanding that, the military Police got up, took the gun that the civilian was carrying and ran away.
The witness furthered that because of the sound of that shot, the assailants that were at the armoury saw him where he was hiding. “They fired an RPG, where I was stranding”.
He said he came face to face with the attackers, but because of their numbers, he ran for his life, as they continued firing behind his back.
He alerted his colleagues of the development at the armoury, adding that from that point” I didn’t trust anybody”.
Prior to the testimony of Sergeant Mansaray, Lance Corporal Kargbo who was shot, also took to the witness stand and told the court what exactly he knew about the matter on 25th and 26th November 2023.
The Military Police Officer confirmed to the Court that on the 26th November, whilst he was in a scuffle with one of the attackers, at the Barracks, he felt a gunshot on his right foot.
According to him, it was Sergeant Mansaray who shot him whilst he was shooting at the civilian, who had attacked him.
He maintained that the shot fired by the Sergeant enabled him to free himself from the civilian, he was fighting with.
According to him whilst he was at the Military Canteen, at Wilberforce Barracks, he saw a vehicle parked close to the ammunition site with hosts of people surrounding the armoury.
Because of what he saw, he said he escaped from the compound, and ran on to Five Battalion, where he met Sergeant Mansaray and explained to him about what was going on at the armoury.
He recounted that he was accompanied by two other officers at the Barracks including Sergeant Mansaray, when he was attacked by a civilian carrying a gun as they entered the compound.
The witness said he escaped, with the gunshot wound. First aid treatment was later administered to him and during the morning hours he was taken to the 34 Hospital.
Whilst at the hospital, he said he was still hearing gunshots.
The witness was cross examined by Lawyer Julian Cole, who also earlier cross examined Alfred Methodist Kargbo. MJB/1/2/2024