Young man sentenced to death amid debate to abolish death penalty in Sierra Leone

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Young man sentenced to death amid debate to abolish death penalty in Sierra Leone
Young man sentenced to death amid debate to abolish death penalty in Sierra Leone

Africa-PressSierra-Leone. Sierra Leone’s High Court Resident Judge in the Kailahun District of the country – Justice Francis Banks-Kamara, on Friday 7th May 2021, sentenced a young man – Kholie Tamba to death by hanging, after he was found guilty of murder.

The accused first appeared before Justice Banks-Kamara for the offence on 8th February 2021; and after three months of trial, judgment was delivered last Friday, with the jury unanimously returning a guilty verdict on one count indictment of murder.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused Tamba Kholie, on a date unknown in September 2018 in Nyadehum Mabarbu in Luawa Chiefdom, Kailahun District, is said to have murdered one Amara Koroma.

The case was prosecuted by State Counsel Daniel Mansaray, while Patrick Kamara Esq from the Legal Aid Board defended the accused.

Addressing the jurors, Justice Banks-Kamara said they should be able to understand the elements constituting murder. He described the act of the accused as “barbaric and does not resonate with 21st century civilized reasoning.”

According to the Judge, the act of the accused contravenes a cardinal Provision in the Sierra Leone Constitution, Chapter 3 of Act No. 6 of 1991.

He went on to say that the act of Murder is unforgivable, adding that the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are hell-bent on derailing the peace in society.

Based on the ‘guilty verdict’ returned by the jurors, Justice Francis Banks-Kamara sentenced Tamba Kholie to death by hanging.

While thanking members of the jury for sacrificing their precious time, the Judge assured that the cliche of ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied’ has no place in Kailahun.

He said the vision of the Chief Justice – Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards is to provide expeditious trials and to take justice closer to the people which he is committed to achieving.

But as the debate about whether the death penalty should be abolished in Sierra Leone continues, there are calls for the president to declare a moratorium on State hanging until a national consensus can be reached.

In the meantime, the Sierra Leone Telegraph is calling on the government to take concerted action to educate young people about violence and the perpetration of murder which many believe is fuelled by drugs, alcohol, poor mental health, and lack of moral compass.

Questions are also being asked as to why citizens that commit murder are being sentenced to death, but police officers who are committing most of the murders in the country on behalf of rogue politicians are never brought to justice.

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