The ensuing legal battle between Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Nyuma and former Westside Boys’ strong-man Idriss Hamid Kamara yesterday continued before Magistrate Mange Deen Tarawally of the Magistrate Court No. 1.
While Tom Nyuma was accused of attempted assassination on the All People’s Congress’ leader Ernest Bai Koroma, Leather-boot will now have to clear himself of five-count charges.
Amongst the charges are conspiracy, contrary to law, robbery with aggravation and wounding with intent.
Speaking from the witness box with gesticulations, Tom Nyuma explained that he did recognize the accused person and recalled July 20 when he was on provincial tours to Koindu, Kailahun, Segbwema and Kenema and later to Bo.
He said on July 23rd he remembered checking in at the Country Side Guesthouse after he had called the management via phone from Kenema for a reservation for a night.
Tom Nyuma said he reached at the guesthouse after eleven pm but before twelve anti-meridian of the clock, upon which he went to bed.
He further said Philip Jimmy, whom he had come with at the guesthouse called on him around 1am to 2am informing him of the presence of so many APC supporters in the compound and that as he had feared for his safety he decided to make a check-out but upon which he was grabbed and given severe beating.
“Upon information, I went outside and Idriss Kamara grabbed me and said ‘Tom, you are in trouble as you are in our hands’…..they slapped me, beat me up and hit me with hard objects,” he narrated.
He went on to explain that he then fell to the ground and that about few minutes later he heard a voice saying: “What’s going on, leave him.”
During cross-examination, lead counsel A Koroma asked Nyuma: “They told you they were part of the APC. Don’t you think it would have been safer for you to stay indoors?”
He went on to ask in his argument that if Nyuma did not know of the established “animosity between the APC and the SLPP.”
In puzzlement, Nyuma answered in the negative.
In high tone, the lead counsel put it to Nyuma that: “how could you not be aware of that when you were part of the coupists who overthrew the APC. And you were a member of the Supreme Council of the NPRC?”
The prosecution raised objection, noting that the recall of the 1992 coup plot had no bearing to the current court proceedings and therefore not relevant to the matter before the court.
The objection was sustained by Magistrate Deen Tarawally.
He further remarked, “You are digging old wounds.”
Nevertheless, the lead counsel went on to make application for bail.
He affirmed that the offence before the magistrate was a “bail able offence” and for which he applied for bail. He accepted that the offences were erroneous offences but that “the offences are not of those which an accused cannot be bailed for….Murder and Treason. The charges are based on reports with no concrete evidence”
The lead counsel further appealed to the magistrate that, “there is no evidence before you that he resisted arrest, no record from prison that he misbehaved and afterwards he corporated with the police.”
Pointing out to Section 79 (2, 4) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 of the laws of Sierra Leone, the lawyer confirmed the rightness of his “admission to bail.”
He further pointed out to the Criminal Amendment Act of 1975, Larceny of 1916 and 1971 in which he said it was the constitutional right of bail for the accused.
Magistrate Deen however did not grant the bail and the case was adjoined to August 27.