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Rural News

Bong: Several Inmates Set Free

Several inmates at the Gbarnga Central Prison in Bong County were set free Monday following their detention without trial.


Bong County, 9th Judicial Circuit Court presiding Judge Madea Chenoweth ordered the release of 26 inmates as part of efforts to set free prolonged detainees who have served long jail sentences without trial.

The unprecedented   jail delivery at the Gbarnga Central Prison followed a motion filed by the defense council at the Judicial Court led by Attn.  Patrick Williams Principal Public Defender assigned in Bong County.

In his legal presentation the defense council pleaded with the court to release the pretrial detainees because their rights were being grossly violated since the condition cannot be created for them to possibly exonerate themselves from charges they being remanded for at the prison facility.

The defense team contended that the detention of an accused is not the end of justice as such it was injustice to those being placed behind bars without their accusers making any attempt to peruse their cases.

Following legal arguments between the prosecution led by Bong County Att. Cllr. Serenai Garlawolo and Lead Defense lawyer for Bong Attn. Patrick Williams, Judge Chenoweth ruled that the twenty persons be set free since the state has no reason for their further detention.

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The first female presiding judge for Bong said, the court remains resolved in dispensing justice without favor and warned those in habit of only being interested in seeing their friends detained to desist because this is not the final path to the attainment of justice.

Judge Chenoweth maintained the release of the twenty pretrial detainees would help to decongest the overcrowded court docket with over stay minor offenses that serve to impede the prosecution process. The court had 49 criminal and 33 civil cases on its docket for may term of court.

According to records from the Gbarnga Central Prison amongst those declared as free citizens were three suspected rapists and one murder suspect. The others were being detained on offenses ranging from aggravated assault, simple assaulted, misapplication of entrusted property, burglary amongst others. 

The acting prison superintendent at the Gbarnga Central Captain Flomo  Johnson described the latest decision by  court as major relief for the prison authority  that is faced with difficulties in containing inmates at the center due the over crowdedness of the various cell with mainly pretrial detainees.

According to prison superintendent, prior to the release of the 26 inmates  there were  Seven sentenced prisoners while sixty-two detained inmates were awaiting court trial. Among these twelve persons  were facing trial for murder, eight awaiting trial for statutory rape, two armed robbery, thirteen theft of property cases also pending court prosecution and eight persons also in detention  for alleged burglaries 

Prison authority told this paper that as the result of the prolong detention of prisoners at the Central Prison; authority at the center has been faced with threats of jail break by the hardened criminals.

A motorcyclist  Big-Boy Mulbah explaining is ordeal to our correspondent  following his release from two years detention lamented he was being  detained    on charges of misapplication of entrusted property  and the legal opportunity was never created   to give his side of the story to be given  through court proceedings. 

He furthered is trouble ensued   when a helmet belonging to one of his friend went missing from him and promised to pay it. While in the process of sourcing funding to do the payment he was taken to the police at which time he was charged for application of entrusted property and forwarded to court for prosecution but since his trial has not commenced making prison compound to be his home now.  

Another former detainee Momo Willie beaming with smiles and great relief   expressed joy of been a free man now. He informed this paper   that he has also been in jail for four months without court trial with the charge of simple assault.

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