LAJ & Co. Jailed 10 Years for Penetrating 8-Year-Old Girl

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The Court of Appeal Judge presiding over cases at the Sexual Offences Model Court, Hon. Justice Alhaji Momoh-Jah Stevens has today sentenced Hassan Sesay popularly known as LAJ, Abu Bakarr Turay also known as Dente and Francis Pessima to ten years imprisonment for sexual penetration.

Accused persons, Francis Pessima and Hassan Sesay alias LAJ were convicted for sexual penetration after being jointly charged on a two count of Conspiracy and Sexual Penetration Contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No. 12 of 2021.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused persons on the 10th day of July 2019 at Freetown, in the Western Area of the Republic

of Sierra Leone, conspired together to commit a felony to wit Sexual Penetration, and also engaged in an act of Sexual Penetration with the victim who was 8 years of age on the date of the allegation.

The Application for trial by judge alone was granted by the Honourable judge.

The Prosecution led in evidence the formal witness who issued the medical report form, cautioned the accused persons and charged them to court.

At the close of the Prosecution’s case, the accused persons relied on their sole denial statements made to the police.

Delivering his judgment, Honourable Justice Stevens said; “The Law is clear, this court has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the case of the prosecution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt and the accused persons are as guilty as charged. There’s no defence to the case of the prosecution.”

Both accused persons were convicted on both Counts and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each; five years for each of the counts.

In another related matter, Abu Bakarr Turay alias ‘Dente’ was before the court on a one count indictment of Sexual Penetration Contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No. 12 of 2012.

The prosecution had alleged that the convict on the 19th day of January 2019 in Freetown, in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone engaged in an act of Sexual Penetration with a nine-year-old child.

Upon his arraignment before the Court, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution filed an Application for trial by Judge alone pursuant to Section 114(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965 as repealed and replaced by Section 3 of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 1981.

In the absence of any objection by the Defence Counsel, the Hon. Judge granted the Application.

The Prosecution led in evidence four Witnesses in support of their case including Police investigator, DPC 14214 J.M Kamara and the alleged victim.

The victim who doubles as the Second Prosecution Witness, admitted to knowing the accused as a friend of her Uncle called Junior.

Led in evidence by Lawyer Musa Pious Sesay, the alleged victim told the Court that the accused suddenly met her around Ascension Town area and made approaches to her which she refused.

She said later the accused pursued her and forcefully held her even after the intervention of a certain man and a woman whom the victim didn’t know, passed by at intervals and pleaded on her behalf.

She stressed that the accused had claimed that she was his sister.

She went on to note that the accused took her to a corrugated building and placed clothes into her mouth and eyes and sexually penetrated her.

At the close of the Prosecution’s case, the accused relied on his voluntary caution statement he made to the police and raised the issue of Alibi.

Testifying for the accused, Defence Witness, Sulaiman Tarawally, a team mate of the accused of Eastern Tigers, told the Court that he was in the company of the accused on the date of the allegation.

In his ruling on the case of Alibi raised by Defence Lawyer, C. Taylor Younge,  Hon. Justice Stevens said; “I hold that the defence of Alibi raised by the accused cannot hold because there are inconsistencies in the testimony of the Defence Witness and the accused.”

He added that the act of Sexual Penetration done by the accused on the victim was corroborated by the endorsed medical report of Fatmata Sullay Kamara and Kadiatu Sesay, the 3rd and 4th prosecution witnesses.

Hon. Justice Stevens convicted the accused of sexual penetration.

In his allocutus, the accused pleaded for mercy and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Minister Inspects Waterloo, Tombo Water Supply Systems

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The Minister of Water Resources Ing. Philip K. Lansana accompanied by a cross section of the Management staff of Guma Valley Water Company on Friday 24th September, 2021 visited the project sites of the Waterloo and Tombo Gravity Water Supply Systems to assess progress on the works carried out so far.

The projects which are part of improving access to safe and clean water, sanitation and hygiene for the 55,000 residents of Waterloo and 40,000 in Tombo Village are funded by the Governments of Sierra Leone and Iceland.

The two Gravity Water Supply Systems Projects includes construction of concrete intake weir structure,

laying of Transmission pipeline from intake weir to storage tanks, construction of a 150 m3 and a 100 m3 storage tanks; rehabilitation of a 300m3 storage tank, laying of Distribution pipelines, laying of service connections and construction of over 25 kiosks points in the Waterloo community  and 200 public stand posts at Tombo.

At Waterloo, the Minister expressed concern at the slow pace of the works.

In his response, the Contractor, Brunnenbrau Conrad (Bbc) explained that the main challenge the project is facing is timely allocation of land space for the laying of the distribution mains and construction of the kiosks by the local authorities.

In contrast to the Waterloo project, the Tombo project is 99.9% completed and will be commissioned in the next few weeks.

In another development, the Minister also visited the Guma Pipe Yard at Kissy to inspect the pipes and other materials procured under the Freetown Water Supply Rehabilitation Project funded by UK Government.

After World Bank and JICA Electricity Projects…

EDSA Assures Consumers of Less Power Outages

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By Mento, Emmanuel and Alhassan

Director General for the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), Engineer James Augustine Simeon Rogers has encouraged customers that the complaints of frequent power outage will be minimized after the successful implementation of the already funded World Bank and JICA electricity projects.

Mr. Rogers was responding to a galaxy of media practitioners in Freetown in connection to several complaints brought to the  office by different aggrieved customers from different areas in Freetown with acute power outage (black out).

Mr. Rogers affirmed that the expansion of electricity has taken place in many deprived communities, emphasizing that the authority couldn’t solve the decades electricity problems within a twinkle of an eye or at the same time but, he continued, “it has to be done systematically to enhance the most desired result in the end of the whole exercise”.

The EDSA Boss explained that contracts have already being awarded to contractors for the implementation of the World Bank funded electricity expansion project in most communities, adding that the implementation of such projects which he said would not only commenced next year but also required high capital investment and it was time bound.

According to Mr. Rogers, many communities which are complaining blackout on a daily basis, including Sumaila, Sorie Towns and other areas in in eastern Freetown were disturbed with cable restriction problems, adding that the designed projects would robustly minimized issues of power outage in most deprived communities upon completion.

Rogers also updated the media that JICA has prepared to commence the implementation of the two years electrification project of the Western Area Rural District (WARD) by the 28th of October, 2021, highlighting that JICA was in charge of areas like Goderich, Tombo, and York and beyond.

Mr. Rogers is an experienced Chief Executive Officer who has worked with not only utility industries or possesses skill in gas, energy, renewable Energy, Smart Grid and strong business development professional with a Master of Business Administration and Management.

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