August 5, 2021
By Yusufu S. Bangura
Suliman Alhaji Barrie, Thomas Hillary, Mohamed Marrah and Hassan Yik Kamara were yesterday granted bail by Magistrate Mark Ngegba presiding at Pademba road Court No.2 for allegedly obstracting electricity supply.
The bail comes immediately after Lawyer J.T Bangura representing the 6th accused (Hassan Yik Kamara) renewed his application for bail on behalf of the 4th accused persons.
They made another appearance before Magistrate Ngegba on two counts of conspiracy contrary to law and dishonestly abstracting electricity supply contrary to Section 68 of the National Electricity Act No.16 of 2011.
Police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Hawa Bah alleged that the accused persons on diverse dates between the 26th and 27th June, 2021, in Makeni City, conspired with other persons unknown to commit a felony to wit electricity theft, and also fraudulently caused electricity supply from the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority to be diverted to their various houses.
Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Archibo Johnson attached to EDSA office as a technician said he recognised the 3rd and 6th accused persons and recalled on the date in question.
He said his duties include checking for illegal activities with EDSA, identifying faulty meters, among others.
The witness said on the date in question, a team of EDSA staff including him left Bo and went to Makeni city to instal and checked EDSA meters, adding that upon arrival at the 6th and 3rd accused’s premises, he introduced himself to an unknown person as an employee of EDSA and that he went to check the accused’s meter, but the accused was not around at that time.
He said after the check he noticed that the accused had tampered with the connection which runs to the consumer unit with a red cable which runs through the consumer unit so that he will not pay for the electricity.
He said he also saw 4 cables that ran through the meter.
He further narrated that during the check he also noticed that the terminal of the meter had been tempered with, which meant they were not paying for electricity supply.
He continued that he disconnected and removed the meter and then hand over the meter to a police officer who was with them and he later went to the Mena police station at Makeni City for further investigations. He added that the number of the meters were 16400359457 and 16400410433.
The witness said he later made statement at the said police station and after giving his statement, the 6th accused was shown to him who said he owns the meter, adding that the 3rd accused was also arrested at Conteh Street, Makeni.
After his testimony, Lawyer J.T Bangura and M.A Mansaray cross examined the witness and renewed their application for bail.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Ngegba on his ruling granted Le50 million bail each to the 3th, 4th, 5th and 6th accused persons plus two sureties each who must be an employee with utility bills and a responsible citizen.
He further ordered that the sureties should be residents in the western Area and should produce identification card depicting his or her address in Freetown and the bail bond should be approved by the Deputy Assistant Register.
However, the 1st and 2nd accused persons (Mabinty Kamara and Aminata Turay) were on bail.
The matter was adjourned to Thursday 12th August 2021.