July 27, 2021
By Jeneba A Conteh
Magistrate Sahr Kekura at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 on Monday 26th July, 2021, sent Patrick Sheku Kabba into remand at the Male Correctional Facility on Pademba Road in the ongoing preliminary investigation into alleged theft of fuel.
Police alleged that the accused person, on Friday, 11th June, 2021, along Bo Kenema Highway in Sierra Leone, being the manager for Malador and Associates, Bo branch, fraudulently converted the sum of one hundred and thirteen million, six hundred and ninety three thousand Leones, proceeds of 10,000 litres of petrol and diesel, property of Malador and Associates.
Police slammed one count charge of embezzlement contrary to Section 17 (2) (b) of the Larceny Act 1916.
Prosecution witness and Chief Finance Officer, Malador and Associates, Sahr Sorie Kabba, identified the accused as his brother and immediate boss in one of their filling stations in Bo.
He recalled that, on the 11th of June, 2021, he discovered a pending petroleum product of 10,200 litres, and that he mounted an investigation into the aforementioned.
He continued that on the following day, he opened the station but didn’t see the product.
He said the accused was invited to explain about the whereabouts of the product, and that he confirmed that he did receive the product, but didn’t know what went wrong.
The witness said he decided to give the accused sometime to enable him figure out what was amiss, but the witness responded that he noticed a shortage of 2,000 litres in the tank.
The witness said he told the accused that the 2,000 litres shortage was not commensurate to the one that was missing.
He further testified that he told the accused to remove the money from the safe, adding that he had instructed him to give the sum of Le 913,000 to his assistant to pay at the bank, while he retain the remaining Le 40 million for one of their customers.
He said when it was time for him to open the safe, the accused told him that Le 26,693 was missing from the Le 40 million.
The witness said when he asked the witness about the Le 26 million that was missing; he responded that he had kept it in his personal account.
The witness said he reminded the accused of the company’s policy that no one should put the company’s money into his or her personal account.
The witness disclosed that he asked that he went with the accused to the bank to collect the money, but the accused was nowhere to be found.
He disclosed that after several hours of search, he reported the matter at the Bo Police Station. He indicated that the total amount of money involved was Le 113,693,000 for stock and cash, property of Malador Associates.
He said the police requested for photos of the accused which he made available and that before long, he received an intelligence that the accused was hiding at a village in Kabala.
The witness said he later apprehended the accused and handed him to the police while he made statement at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters, where the matter was being investigated.
He revealed that Malador Associates was yet to receive any money from the accused in respect of the case.
The accused who was not represented in court said he hadn’t any question for the witness when he was asked to do so.
He noted that the CID officers failed to conduct proper investigation into the matter.Magistrate Sahr Kekura remanded the accused and adjourned the matter to the 2nd July, 2021.