Justice Adrian Fischer has on past Friday 17th March, 2023 sentenced popular hip hop rap star and musician Alhaji Amadu Bah, known as LAJ to nine years imprisonment to the Freetown Male Correctional Centre.
Justice Adrian Fischer handed down the sentence following the plea in mitigation by the convicted musician for the offences he committed.
The convicted musician appeared in court with a white plain T-shirt, bronx jeans trousers, a neatly kept afro hair style but no earrings and pierced nose this time.
He observed with close scrutiny by criss-crossing his eyes to his defense team, the prosecutor and the Judge.
The State Prosecutor, Y.I Sesay said contrary to an earlier submission made by the defense counsel, Pa Momoh Fofanah that LAJ is a musical icon; he submitted that people who are icons should be good examples in terms of their conducts. He therefore asked for ten years imprisonment on each count in order to send a strong message that regardless of one’s status in the society, one should give account for one’s actions.
He said the action of LAJ is worrisome that someone especially an icon could walk into a fuel station and perpetuated such anti-human and anti-state acts. He said even if heaven may fall or your friends avoid you, but let justice prevail, referencing the case of the popular American R&B star Robert Kelly, former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other icons.
The State Prosecutor submitted that the law is not a respecter of status.
However, the convicted musician LAJ, when given the opportunity to address the court stood up humbly and agreed with the outcome of the case even though he said he is a law abiding citizen.
He said that he was being honest at the time of the incident and that it is such honesty that has cost him his conviction.
At this juncture, the convicted rapper was asked to say something before the sentenced was handed down.
Alhaji Amadu Bah said he never meant to do what he did and therefore was deeply remorseful to those whom he has offended or who felt to have been offended by his action in the matter that was before the court.
He recounted how through his music he has been able to preach peace between violent youth factions among other things and has given a lot to the people and the country.
Just for being famous, he said it has now had a toll on him and that if he is pardoned, he will be the role model that the public expects of him and will focus on his music career.
He said that he has learnt his lessons since May last year and promised to be a peace ambassador.
Before Justice Fischer handed down the sentence, the State Prosecutor Y. I Sesay applied for the phone of the complainant and the four hundred and ninety thousand Leones (Le490, 000) for the fuel being returned to the management of LEONCO fuel station.
Justice Adrian Fisher when handing down his ruling said that his hands are tied and has to work on the law and he therefore sentenced the accused LAJ to nine months imprisonment on count 1 to count three and three years six months on count four.
He ordered the convict to compensate the three victims with the sum of twenty million old Leones (NLe20, 000) and ordered for the mobile phone and the amount for the fuel that was pumped into LAJ’s vehicle on the day of the incident to be refunded to the LEONCO fuel station.