Judge acquits accused over inconsistent witness accounts
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: On the 18th day of November 2021 Justice John Bosco at the high court Siaka Stevens Street acquitted and discharged one Gbewa Lahai because the prosecution witness told the court different accounts of stories.
It was alleged that the accused person on the 17th day of March 2019 in Freetown, Gbewa Lahai broke and entered the dwelling house of Fatmata Juliet Nicholas with intent to steal and stole therein fiscal cash and other items all valued at one hundred and thirty thousand Leones.
The prosecution led in evidence six witnesses in support of their case.
In the process of delivering his judgment, Justice John Bosco Alieu said that based on the witness account in court, there is doubt being created in the mind that the accused committed the offence levied against him because there are different stories with different accounts by the prosecution witnesses.
He also said that the circumstantial evidence should be pointed directly to the accused. He further noted that one of the evidence tendered in the magistrate court was a base ball cap (brown and green), which was allegedly found in the Complainant Fatmata Julliet premise but was not tendered in the high court, noting the different stories by different witnesses for the said cap which they alleged belong to the accused.
He pointed to the prosecution witness No. 1 Fatmata Julliet also the complainant whom he noted did not even mention any logo or inscription of the said cap. He added that the police was alerted and went to the crime scene and collected the cap, noting that prosecution witness No. 2 told the court a different story about the said cap in which the witness said the cap was taken to the police station by the complainant.
He furthered that the prosecution did not even mention that the cap belonged to the accused person.
According to the Judge, the prosecution said that four apartments were situated in the compound and the accused occupy only one apartment and that everyone in the compound has access to the key of the main gate.
He further told the court that there is a lot of possibilities that other neighbors might have entered the compound, affirming that the prosecution witnesses against any accused person should fit like a jigsaw puzzle in their case.
He ruled that based on all the evidence against the accused, he found the accused not guilty and therefore acquitted and discharged him. MLK/24/11/2021
By Mohamed Latiff Kamara