By Jane B. Mansaray.
The Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Mohamed Bangura yesterday appeared before Principal Magistrate Albert Moody of the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1 to testify in a Defamatory Libel matter published on a WhatsApp social media platform involving an accused person, Francis Josiah.
Led in evidence by Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samuel Kamara, the first prosecution witness Mr. Mohamed Bangura told the Court that he recognized the accused and recalled on the 13th July 2017.
He said on that day, he was at his Ministerial office when he received a phone call from the Presidential Spokesman Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay, drawing his attention to a WhatsApp media social group titled “Ranka Politician “.
Based on the information received, the witness said he immediately went through his phone to verify it.
Upon verifying, the witness said he saw the said WhatsApp social media group with several postings pertaining to his personality and family.
The content and details of the communication posted on the above social media group reads: Mr. Mohamed Lampay” Bangura is impotent, bearing his photo and his seven-month-old child and the mother (wife).
The publication went further that the child in question did not resemble Mr. Bangura and that the woman (wife) is being impregnated by another man, and he Mr. Mohamed Bangura is not the father of the child.
The child according to the publication looks like an albino, and that Mr. Mohamed Bangura is a corrupt individual.
After going through the content, the witness said that he realized that the said publication was done and posted by the accused person.
The witness added that having gone through the publication he felt disgraced, humiliated and ridiculed especially the direct attack on his manhood and the baby.
He Mr. Mohamed Bangura said he later reported the matter at the Police Headquarters on George Street in Freetown for further investigation.
During cross examination by defense counsel, Lawyer Alhaji Mustapha Bangura, the witness said he was not aware of joining any WhatasApp media group but as Minister of Information and Communications he has without his consent being joined several WhatsApp social groups even when he decided to delete himself from them.
The accused is answering to six counts related charges of defamatory libel contrary to law.
The accused was during his first appearance in court granted bail in the sum of one hundred million Leones and two sureties in like sum.
The matter was adjourned to 8th August, 2017.