By Lamin Fatty
Five members of the slave class of Koina Kantora were on Thursday the 27th September arraigned before Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Basse Magistrates Court on a single count charge of assault causing actual bodily harm on four persons regarded as freeborn.
The accused persons are: Muhammed Camara, Muhammed Sanneh, Almami Camara, Ebrima Camara and Kinda Dembelly.
According to the particulars of claim, on or about 24 August 2018, the 5 accused persons jointly assaulted Marrie Samura, Kissima Gumaneh, Dawda Sanneh, Ousman Gumaneh and Jafara Gumaneh with stones causing actual bodily harm.
When the case was called, Inspector Sanyang appeared for the Inspector General of Police whilst the accused persons appeared in person.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charge and they were all granted bail.
Testifying before the court, Kissima Gumaneh a purported victim said he was sent by his elder brother, the Alkalo of the village who assigned him to go and advise the ‘freeborn’ youths who were holding a meeting, to maintain peace. He added that when he reached the venue where the meeting was holding, whilst he was advising the youths, Muhammed Camara, the first accused person arrived at the place.
“Muhammed stopped where we were holding our meeting and we asked him what he was doing there. He told us that he was passing but before he left, the ‘freeborn’ youths attacked him and I was among those who rescued him; but he was beaten,” he adduced.
Gumaneh added that when Muhammed escaped he told his people, the slave class about the attack and they reacted to the attack.
“Whilst we were at the meeting, we saw stones coming towards us. Four people were wounded in the noble class including myself. I was stoned on my jaw, I fainted and I was rushed to the Koina Health Centre,” he said.
He said the health centre asked for a police report before they can treat him.
“This is all I know about the issue because I fainted,” he said.
“What was the purpose of the meeting?” asked Muhammed Camara, first accused person, under cross examination.
In his reply, the witness told the court that he has no idea of the purpose of the meeting.
“Did you see me holding a stone or throwing any stone at any person?” asked Muhammed Camara.
“No, I can’t tell because the people were many and I can’t identify any person” he replied.
“Who accused us as the people who pelted stones at you people”? Muhammed Camara asked.
“For sure I have no idea because I was not the one who accused you people,” he replied.
“Don’t you know that there is a problem between the slave and noble classes”? Asked Almami Camara.
“I am not aware of it,” he replied.
“Why don’t you ask the youths the purpose of their meeting,”? Almami Camara asked.
“I went there only to advise them,” he answered.
The matter was adjourned till October 9, 2018 at 10am for continuation of hearing.