By Mohamed Kai
The fourth Prosecution Witness in the treason trial of three accused persons who are facing capital and other felonious offences, Staff Sgt Dauda Yemie has denied knowledge of a brown handbag belonging to first accused person Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh, which the prosecution witnesses had tendered in evidence as part of the court record.
He explained that he is attached to the Presidential Task Force and also worked at State House and State Lodge and only recognized the first accused person, Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh.
The witness made these statements, while testifying before Hon. Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens adjudicating over the treason trial of the three accused persons at the High Court N0.1 at Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.
According to Staff Sgt Dauda Remie, he remembered 19th March 2020, and that on the aforementioned date, he reported for duty at State House around 8’oclock and was at the State House reception area together with Police Constable Kemoh Vackie, the scanner Operator, Woman Sgt Kposowa and one Sgt Ngaima.
Staff Sgt Dauda Yemie told the court that later on one Sgt Ngaima later informed him about a list bearing the names of attendees for a meeting with President Julius Maada Bio and other officials to halt the spread of the Corona virus in the country.
He said that whiles, Police Constable Kemoh Vackie was busied scanning the items brought into the State House reception area by the attendees, he saw the first accused person, Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh who was in a rush at the reception, and that he did not scan his brown hand bag neither did he go through the metal detector.
The witness further stated that Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh was climbing the steps leading to the State House Conference hall, where the meeting was scheduled to be held, Police Constable Kemoh Vackie called the first accused person and asked him to scan his brown leather bag containing the said Block 17 pistol.
He continued that Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh immediately approached the desk scanner and told Police Constable Kemoh Vackie that he had his personal pistol in the said brown leather bag and was going for a meeting upstairs State House.
Interestingly, when the witness Staff Sgt Dauda Yemie was shown the said brown leather bag containing the Block 17 pistol with ten live rounds ammunition for identification and for it to be tender in evidence, he denied knowledge of the bag.
According to the witness, Police Constable Kemoh Vackie then handed over the said brown handbag to him, before it was finally handed over to the Head of the Presidential Guard, Lt. Col. M.M. Kposowa in the presence of Brigadier Taluva.
The matter comes up again this morning, 1st June 2020.