Court of Appeal Judge, Honourable Justice Monfred Sesay on the 23rd September, 2023 granted freedom to 11 individuals who had been convicted for various offenses in the Magistrate Court during a momentous event at the Sefadu Correctional Centre in Koidu City as part of the ongoing Prison Courts initiative.
Among those released was Edward Emmanuel, a dedicated teacher at Saint Augustine Secondary School in Lungi, Port Loko Judicial District. Edward had ventured to Kono with the aim of establishing a school branch and later decided to diversify his business by offering mobile phone charging services. Unfortunately, some mobile phones went missing under his watch, leading to a police investigation and his subsequent conviction.
Having endured four years of imprisonment, Edward Emmanuel, who had already served three years and seven months of his sentence, expressed his gratitude. “I’m grateful, and please thank the Chief Justice for assigning Judges to come and review our convictions,” said an emotional Edward Emmanuel as he addressed journalists upon his release.
Another individual benefiting from Justice Monfred Sesay’s compassion was 25-year-old Komba Suma, who had been convicted of Wounding with Intent. Komba disclosed, “I was sentenced for wounding my sister’s husband, David Kpaka at Wordu Sando.” After serving two years and eight months behind bars at the Sefadu Correctional Centre, Komba Suma was granted his freedom.
The Prison Courts initiative, which commenced on the 21st day of September 2023, has been made possible through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These courts have been established under the guidance of the Honourable Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, who has assigned judges to preside over cases within various Correctional Centers, including Mafanta, Kono, Makeni, Bo, Waterloo, and the Pademba Road in Freetown. The primary objective of this initiative is to conduct thorough reviews of cases that have been adjudicated in the Magistrates’ Courts, ensuring that justice is served.