Following a matter in the High Court of Sierra Leone, Justice Adrian Fisher rejected bail for Alpha Sheriff alias ‘APC Sheriff’ and eight others for alleged offenses of operating private security services without a license, possessing small arms without a license, and unlawfully concealing arms without a license, contrary to the law. It could be recalled that on the 7th of June 2023 in Kebbie Town, Bo, the accused persons Alpha Sheriff alias ‘APC Sheriff’, Alhassan Kamara, Alhaji Saidu Fofanah, Sorie Sillah, Abdul Karim Mans, and four others were arraigned before Magistrate Mark Ngegba at Pademba Road Court No1 on the above charges.

After a series of appearances at the Magistrate Court, the matter proceeded to the High Court of Sierra Leone under the watchful eyes of Justice Adrian Fisher, who was serving as the presiding judge. In addition, the proceeding was marked by arguments from both the State Counsels and Defense Counsels. Lawyer Ady McCauley and Lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara represented the accused persons, while Lawyer Ahmed James Bockarie and Amadu Jalloh represented the State. Addressing the judge about the whereabouts of the remaining seven accused persons, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara told the court that they could neither be reached nor their whereabouts known.

Justice Fisher became visibly agitated when this statement was made and asked the custodians of the Pademba Road Correctional Centre to explain the whereabouts of the remaining seven accused. In response, one of the main custodians of the Correctional Centre told the court that during the prison break on November 26th, a significant number of prisoners had escaped, including the remaining eight accused persons. “Their warrants were burnt during the break, but we have made production orders for the accused persons in the dock,” the prison officer said.

Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara insisted that the prosecution must do the needful in the conduct of the case. State counsel Bockarie argued that the absence of the remaining seven accused persons showed a deliberate suspicion for Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to make another application for separate trials to proceed. “The defense counsels know the whereabouts of the runaway accused persons,” AJ Bockarie told the court. Lawyer Bockarie refused to accept the statement made by the custodian on the grounds that he would only be satisfied if the custodian took an oath regarding the whereabouts of the remaining seven accused persons.

On that note, Justice Fisher emphasized that he would make an order for the Officer-in-Charge to provide details about the remaining seven accused persons. He denied bail for Alpha Sheriff and one of his co-accused. The matter was adjourned to the 5th of March 2024.


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