School pupil testifies against female human traffickers
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: Third prosecution witness, a school pupil, on Thursday 2nd December 2021 testified against Isatu Nyama Jawara a pharmacist and Katumu Kanneh a farmer who are faced with human trafficking offences.
These accused persons were arraigned before Magistrate Sahr Kekura at the Pademba Road Court No. 1 on fourteen count charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking contrary to section 18 of the Anti- human trafficking Act No.7 of 2005 and thirteen counts ranging from engaging in human trafficking contrary to section 2 (2) of the Anti- human trafficking Act 2005, among others.
According to the indictment, the accused persons on diverse dates between the 1st to 20th September 2021 in Kenema both accused persons conspired together and with other persons unknown to traffic Yatta Massaqoui, Mamie Dakuwa and Sao Amara from Kenema to Madamaya Kambia, en route to Guinea for the purpose of exploitation and engaged in trafficking in person by the transfer of Ibrahim Mansaray from Kenema to Madamaya, Kambia en route to Guinea by means of deception for the purpose of exploitation.
In her testimony to the Court, Yatta Massaquoi disclosed that she resides in Kenema with her grandmother, and she recognized both accused persons in the dock as her relatives.
Massaquoi told the Court that she was on holiday at her father’s village, Gbogboma when the 1st accused arrived in the village in search of traditional herbs to heal her foot. “The 1st accused requested that I go with her to Guinea where she promised to take care of me, and both my mother and father agreed,” she said.
Through an interpreter, the victim disclosed that it was her grandmother who refused to give her consent for her to travel to Guinea with the 1st accused, but his father insisted. Massaquoi furthered that the 1st accused person gave money to the driver for she and nine others to be transported to Guinea.
Massaquoi said she could not recognize the 2nd accused, but recognized the 1st accused who was in the vehicle with them on their way to Guinea. “On our way to Guinea, police intercepted the vehicle and impounded it, whiles the 1st accused person was interrogated by the police, and I later made statement at the police station.
Defense counsel renewed his application for bail on behalf of his clients. Magistrate Sahr Kekura granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of Le 250 million each, plus two sureties who must be residents in Freetown, one of which must be employed in a recognized institution, and he adjourned the matter to the 8th December 2021. The bail is to be approved by the Deputy Acting Registrar. ASP Davis Cole is prosecuting the matter. SKS/3/12/2021
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