Defence lawyers representing ten Fourah Bay College students standing trial for the alleged murder of their colleague Mohamed Juana in a club initiation ceremony have expressed their dissatisfaction in the delay of the trial.
The conspicuous absence of the Director of Public Prosecution, Oladipo Robin Mason on two consecutive sittings has perturbed members of the defence team and they have called upon the court for an expeditious trial of the case.
The ten accused persons who include students and Ex-students from Fourah Bah College were arraigned before Magistrate Steven Conteh of court No.1 on the 2nd of April. Gerald Souyie representing State Counsel told the court that he has got instruction from the DPP to make an application for an adjournment as he is ill.
In response to the application made by Gerald Souyie,defence lawyer Jenkins Johnston who was representing the 8th and 10th accused made an application for the court to consider the prosecution’s case closed on the grounds that the prosecution is made up of more than one individual and the absence of one man should not stifle the progress of the proceedings.
He considered the excuses that have been given to them by the prosecution on two consecutive occasions as unfounded and unacceptable. Lawyer Jenkins Johnston further stated that the accused have unreasonably spent over four Months at Pademba Road prisons yet still the prosecution is procrastinating the course of the trial.
Melron Nicol Wilson representing the 1st accused also added a voice to his learned friend’s plea for a speedy trial. “The DPP cannot continue to give instructions from the sick bed” he added.
Mr. Gerald Souyie in his reaction to statements from defence lawyers pointed out that the prosecution has already led 11 witnesses to testify in court which signifies a reasonable progress. The matter was adjourned to Tuesday 7th April.
By William Ignatius Freeman