2 Men Sentenced to 2 Years for Possessing “Kush”

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By Louise Jobe

Magistrate K.B. Sambou of Brikama Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 convicted and sentenced two Sierra Leoneans to a two-year jail term. The Magistrate also gave them the option to pay Forty Thousand Dalasi (D40,000) each as fine to get their freedom. The convicts, Salieu Bangura and Mary Joseph, have the option to pay the fine or serve the 2-year jail term.

They were charged with possession of prohibited drugs contrary to Section 35 (2)(a) of the Drug Control Act 2014. The prosecution alleged that Salieu Bangura and Mary Joseph on or about the 10th of March 2024 at Brikama Santa-Su in the West Coast Region had in their possession 9 grams and 835 Milligrams of “Kush” (CANNABIS), a prohibited drug in The Gambia. The accused persons pleaded guilty to the charge and accepted the facts narrated by prosecutor N. Jammeh. On this basis, they were found guilty.

The case was transferred from the Bundung Magistrate’s Court to Brikama Magistrate’s Court for lack of jurisdiction.

In his narration, Prosecutor Jammeh informed the Court that on the 10 of March 2024, the two were intercepted at Brikama Santa Su by officers of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) on patrol. He said the two (2) were found with twenty-five (25) bundles of suspected Cannabis known as “Kush”. They were handed over to the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of the Gambia (DLEAG) at New Yundum for procession.

The prosecutor said cautionary and voluntary statements were obtained from both accused persons on the 12th of March 2024 and they were escorted to Bijilo for weighing and testing of samples. The prosecutor added that the convicts thumb printed the certificate obtained after the weighing.

He stated that samples were extracted from the substance and sent to laboratory for analysis, and the results confirmed that the substance was Kush. He added that three (3) bundles of the “Kush” were removed and retained at the lab.

Prosecutor Nicholas Jammeh relied on Sections 100 and 101 of the Evidence Act to tender the voluntary statements, cautionary statements, 24 hours daily report, weight certificate, analytical report and twenty-two (22) bundles of the “Kush”.

The accused persons, Mr. Salieu Bangura and Mary Joseph, did not object to the prosecutor’s application to admit them in evidence. Trial Magistrate Sambou admitted them into evidence and marked them as exhibits.

In their plea of mitigation, the two convicts asked the court to consider that they are first time offenders. The trial magistrate convicted them to serve a jail term of 2 years or pay a fine of D40,000 each.