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Chief security testifies in $534,000 worth of Fertilizer theft

November 4, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Chief security officer of Investors Security Agency, Alfred Sulaiman Koroma,  attached to the store of the  Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security -Kissy Dockyard, east end of Freetown, yesterday testified before justice Monfred Sesay presiding at the High Court on the alleged theft of 997 (50kg) bags of fertilizers.

The accused, Mark Ivan Babatunde Dickson, was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit a corrupt offence and misappropriation of public property, contrary to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act 2008.

Koroma testified that on June 2, 2016, he was informed by his subordinates that fertilizers have been stolen at the store, which prompted him to make a routine check in the compound.

He said although there was some evidence of theft, he observed that the locks to the doors of the stores were intact with no breakage.

He declined telling the court the quantum of fertilizers that were placed in the stores, but noted that the fertilizers were loaded in four 40ft containers brought by a certain trailer.

He noted that throughout his five years as a security officer, he had never handle the keys to the stores,.

The ACC had alleged that from 1st of February to the 20th June 2016, the accused conspired with unidentified individuals and willfully deprived the Ministry by failing to account for 980 (50kg) bags of urea fertilizers and 17 (50kg) bags of 15-15-15 NPK, amounting to Five Hundred and Thirty-Four Thousand Ninety-Six United States Dollars and Forty Two Cents.

The anti-graft agency indicated in their indictment that the fertilizers were procured from a local supplier through a loan to the government from the Islamic Development Bank in order to increase farmers’ income and reduce food insecurity in five provincial towns of Bo, Bombali, Mattru Jong, Bonthe and Magburaka.

Meanwhile, the accused person, who is seemingly in his late 50s, had been put on Le2 Billion bail.

The matter would come up again on November 10, 2016.

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