Defense counsel for the 26th accused person, lawyer C. Pujeh, on Wednesday 27th July 2020, has cross-examined victim and witness, Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Queen II, over the alleged murder of his nephew and destruction of his properties by his subjects in Lunsar. Lawyer Pujeh said the PC convened a meeting in the chiefdom on 29th April 2020 on the welfare of the chiefdom, but did not invite his client, former MP Morlai Bendu. He disclosed that his client was nonetheless present at the meeting, but did not attack the PC.
However, PC Koblo Queen II argued that Bendu was the lead attacker, and pelted him with stones. Pujeh later revealed a controversy in the witness’ testimony, when he told the court that although he’d escaped via the back of the house when the accused persons were making efforts to break into his compound, he was still able to see them.
The PC responded seeing them before going to the back of the house, and they were being led by the 26th accused. Lawyer Pujeh argued that his client was only present at the meeting, but did not show up at the PC’s residence on the day of the alleged incident. Police alleged that on 1st April and on diverse days up to 30th April 2020, at Lunsar in the Port Loko District, Northern Sierra Leone, 30 accused persons, who are mostly Lunsar residents, conspired with others to murder Alie Kabia, the PC’s nephew, and destroyed properties valued at over Le1 billion.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder contrary to Section 4 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm contrary to law, arson contrary to Section 2 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861, malicious damage contrary to Section 51 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861, among others. Although state counsel presented witnesses, the court could, however, not make progress due to the absence of some of the defense lawyers. Magistrate Hannah Bonnie sent the accused persons back to jail at the Male Correctional Centre, and adjourned the matter to 12pm, 5th August 2020.