NOVEMBER 6, 2014 By Patrick J. Kamara
Ambulance driver, Sheku Komba, will answer charges of fuel theft at the High Court after Magistrate Tonia Barnett of the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No.1 committed the case yesterday.
Komba was arrested on 7 September in Freetown for allegedly stealing 45 litres of diesel from one of the newly procured unregistered Ebola ambulances.
Magistrate Barnett told the court that seven prosecution witnesses who testified had corroborated the evidence adduced against the accused.
Defence counsel Sahr Quee had entered a plea of ‘no case’ a fortnight ago on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt as there was no iota of evidence that his client ‘took and carried away’ the fuel in question.
Quee had submitted that the accused was wrongly charged in a case of mistaken identity because prosecution witnesses did not mention the name of the accused when testifying in court, referring only to him as ‘the man’.
“The key element in larceny is completely missing in this case. There was no evidence before the court as to who is the master to this accused. The prosecution has adduced sufficient evidence with respect to servant and master. The police charged the wrong person to court,” Quee submitted.
He applied for his client to be released on bail, being a married man with children and the bread winner of his family, adding that if the accused is remanded awaiting trial at the High Court, the children would suffer immensely.
The magistrate granted bail in the sum of Le40 million with two sureties, which condition should be approved by the Deputy Master and Registrar.
Komba was arraigned for larceny by servant, contrary to Section 17(4) (a) of the Larceny Act of 1916 after he was allegedly caught at Old Aberdeen Road, Crab Town, Lumley, stealing 45 litres of diesel valued Le202,500 from an unregistered Toyota land cruiser ambulance belonging to his employer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation.