During the ongoing court martial trial at the High Court of Sierra Leone, Staff Sergeant Mustapha Turay, the 28th prosecution witness, took the stand on Tuesday to provide crucial testimony regarding the arrest of Leather Boot at Murray Town Barracks on November 26, 2023.

Currently stationed at Lungi Garrison Barracks, Turay previously served at the Joint Logistics Unit (JLU) in Murray Town during the failed coup. During his testimony, he identified several individuals present during the incident, including Staff Sergeant Abu Dauda, Edward Koroma, Corporal Alie Kamara, and Rashid Koroma.

Turay’s account detailed the events of the night of November 25, 2023, when he temporarily left his deployment site to purchase an energy drink at a nearby restaurant. Upon his return around 1 am, he heard gunfire emanating from Wilberforce and immediately alerted his fellow soldiers. The gunfire persisted throughout the night, spreading to Cockrill and Murray Town by 6:30 am.

As per Turay’s testimony, he was instructed by Lieutenant Colonel Charles to distribute ammunition and organize military officers, including Edward Koroma. Later, they were tasked with apprehending Koroma for questioning due to his alleged knowledge of the situation. Following Koroma’s arrest, they disarmed him and confiscated his iPad, which yielded incriminating evidence.

During interrogation, Koroma implicated Abu Dauda and confessed to his involvement in the assault. Subsequently, Turay and his team responded to additional gunfire and conducted searches, leading to the discovery of Leather Boot and other individuals in a room at the barracks. They were subsequently transported to Cockrill Headquarters.

The court adjourned for cross-examination, scheduled to resume the following day, as the trial delves deeper into the events surrounding the failed coup and the roles played by the accused individuals.