Twelve commercial bike riders have been remanded in custody at the Male Correctional Center in Freetown following their arraignment before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road Court No. 1.

Awoko reports that he riders, including Sajoh Jalloh, Abubakar Mansaray, and Alie Daddy Mansaray, are accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, riotous conduct, and disorderly behaviour.

According to police reports, the incident occurred on April 24, 2024, at the Ministry of Labour office in New England Ville, Freetown. The riders are alleged to have assaulted Patrick Batilo Kpaka and Abdul Aziz, causing them actual bodily harm. They are also accused of engaging in riotous conduct, throwing missiles at Kpaka, Aziz, Mustapha, and police officers.

All twelve pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution’s first witness, Patrick Gbatilo Kpaka, the regional General Secretary of the Bike Riders Association, testified that he had received a letter from Labour Minister Mohamed Rahman Swaray inviting the association for a meeting to discuss an ongoing election dispute. Kpaka recounted a confrontation with one of the accused inside the minister’s office, which he said escalated into violence. He claimed one of his associates was sprayed with a liquid substance, while others were pelted with stones. The altercation resulted in the arrest of the riders by the police.

Despite defense attorney Kamara’s application for bail, Magistrate Kekura denied the request and ordered the twelve men to be remanded in custody.