October 1, 2022

By Janet A. Sesay

Doctor Simeon Owizz Koroma has yesterday confirmed further that the deceased, Khadija Madinatu Saccoh, died due to manual strangulation and that once an individual is strangulated, he/she is deprived of oxygen through the brain.

He said this before Magistrate Mark Ngegba of the Pademba Road Court No2 during cross examination by Lawyer Alhaji M. Kamara, who is the lead counsel for first accused, Mariama Sarjor Barrie.

The witness, when asked as to whether the deceased was examined by any other doctors, answered in the affirmative, adding that he got the medical report from the relatives of the deceased. When he was also asked as to whether he cross-checked that said information, he said no, he did not, because there was no need to do so.

When he was further cross examined as to whether he relied on the information of the medical report given to him by the relatives, he said no; and that when he conducted the autopsy, nothing of pneumonia (severe cold) was diagnosed.

Dr Owizz also stated that the lungs of the deceased were quiet. He confirmed further that strangulation cannot be instant but varies, and that he did not state it in his report because the victim was already dead before she was brought to him. He also stated that spinal cord injury takes time and one cannot instantly die due to it, as it varies from one day to a year. He also confirmed during cross examination that strangulation can lead to fracture.

When he was questioned as to the instruments he used to carry out his examination, he said he used knives, bone cutter, saws, scissor and blades. He said the spinal cord runs through the entire spine and that the scratches on the deceased neck were visible, noting that the scene of crime officer was present when the examination was conducted and he took photos of the process.

He further revealed, during cross examination, that the classic signs of manual strangulation is a bitten tongue was found on the tongue of the deceased during examination. Dr Owizz further said that after the autopsy, he only records abnormal things and not the normal things.

“That is all what pathological examination is about,” he informed the court.  He stated further that the child died suddenly due to manual strangulation, and that, during the examination, he did not see any scratches on the vagina because they healed up easily.

Lawyer Emmanuel Teddy Koroma, for the second accused, Ibarahim Bah, adopted the cross examination made by Lawyer Kamara. The witness, in further cross examination by Lawyer Koroma, said the death of the deceased is a classic case of sexual and physical abuse.  He also confirmed that the victim died due to neorogenic shock and that that shock cannot be acquired by birth.  He said his pathological reports are always objective and that a report will never identify or mention who did the act.

PW2 who also happens to be the Scene of Crime Officer, Emmanuel Juanis, attached to the Lumley Police Station, led in evidence by state counsel, Joseph Sesay, recalled 20th June 2020. He said, on that day, whiles on duty at the Lumley Police Station, Detective Sergeant 10745 instructed him to visit a post mortem examination of an alleged murder. The witness said himself, the lead investigator and relatives of the deceased went to the Connaught Hospital where he observed the examination processes conducted on the remains of the deceased and he took photos of the deceased.

DPC Juanis said, upon completion of the process, he developed the snapshot into pictures. The said pictures were produced and tendered in court by the State prosecutor marked as exhibits C1-18 to form part of the prosecution’s case.

During cross examination, by both counsels of the accused, the witness said all what he did in respect of the matter was to take photos of the post mortem examination.

At this stage, the stated prosecutor, Joseph Sesay, requested for an adjournment for PW3 to testify. Magistrate Mark Ngegba however adjourned the matter to next week Thursday 13 August 2020 for further hearing.

It could be recalled that the accused, Mariama Sarjor Barrie and Ibrahim Bah, were arraigned in court on two counts of conspiracy and  murder, which are all contrary to law. According to the indictments, the police alleged that the accused, on 1st April 2020 and on diverse dates in June 2020, conspired together with other persons unknown to murder Khadija Madinatu Saccoh.

Whiles count two states that the accused, on 17 June 2020 at No 25 Spur Road, murdered Khadija Madinatu Saccoh.