Justice Delayed In Lunsar Matter – Magistrate Bonnie Annoyed

By Mariama Hamadi

Running out of patience, the presiding Magistrate of Pademba Road Court No. 1, Hannah Bonnie has made it categorically clear that Osman Karankay Conteh and thirty other residents of Lunsar will remain in remand if their solicitors fail to turn up in court.

The thirty one accused persons are before her on Preliminary Investigation for alleged murder of the nephew of Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Queen II of Marampa Chiefdom and for setting ablaze his properties worth over eleven billion Leones.

Shortly after the matter was mentioned yesterday for further hearing, the Magistrate noticed that some of the defence counsels were absent.

Responding to that, she told the accused persons that the matter is facing undue delay because their lawyers are not cooperating with the court.

She said the defence counsels are expected to be in court at nine thirty in the morning to cross examine the next witness but to no avail.

“The state is spending huge amount of money to take care of thirty one prisoners in custody every day,” she stated.

Magistrate Bonnie further stated that the accused persons were arraigned before her for Preliminary Investigation on the 18th of June 2020 and have taken three months without progress.

“If counsels representing you fail to turn up in court, you will continue to stay in prison,” she said in a steady but firm mood.

Defense counsel for the 10, 11, and 12th Accused persons M.Y Kanu in his submission stated that in the interest of justice, he will like the Bench to continue with the current witness and take the next.

He said the accused persons will not continue to be in custody because of the absence of counsels.

“My Lord, we are in a situation where justice must be seen done, the accused persons are entitled to speedy trial but their counsels are absent,” lawyer M.Y Kanu stated.

Defense counsel M.Y Kanu furthered that the court cannot continue to adjourn the matter when a single counsel is holding the court to ransom.

“If it comes to the worse, I will take over the entire defence,” he boasted.

In conclusion, Magistrate Bonnie adjourned the matter to Monday 23rd October, 2020, a date she expects the Prosecution to take all its witnesses.