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Former minister testifies in robbery matter

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 By Hawa Amara

Former Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Soccoh Kabia, yesterday testified at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 in a robbery matter involving one Mohamed Kamara, who is alleged to have robbed the erstwhile minister of property worth Le22,580,000 (twenty-two million, five hundred and eighty thousand Leones).

In his testimony, Dr. Kabia told the court that on 31 July at around 2:00am, he was watching television when he heard a sound outside his house.

He explained that when he peeped through the window he saw some young men in front of his house and enquired what they were doing, before he shouted ‘thief!’ He said the gang forcefully entered into his residence and used his mobile phone to make two calls but the recipients did not answer.

“The group of young men went inside my house and assaulted me. They hit my face and punched me all over my body before lifting me towards my bedroom and asked about my wife. They also asked me to give them some money and I gave them about forty thousand Leones (Le40,000),” he explained, adding that his laptop, iPhone and iPad were also carted away.

The former Health Minister further told the court that the thieves also threatened to stab him with a knife as they removed his bracelet, which he said he inherited from his late mother.

“I pleaded for my life. The thieves removed my trousers and scattered all my properties on the floor. I later stood up and noticed that my right leg was broken. After a while some men who identified themselves as OSD personnel came and issued me with a medical paper, which I took to the Kingharman Road hospital,” he said.

The accused – Mohamed Kamara – was arraigned on six counts of conspiracy contrary to law, robbery with aggravation contrary to Section 2(1) of the Larceny Act of 1916 as repealed and replaced by Section 2 of Act No.1816, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, wounding contrary to Section 18 of the Larceny Act 1816, and receiving stolen goods contrary to Section 33(1) of the Larceny Act of 1971.

Meanwhile, defence counsel Crispin Fio-Edwards applied for bail on behalf of the accused, but it was rejected by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on the grounds that he would never trivialise the offence of robbery with aggravation by granting bail to persons accused with committing such offence.