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Exhibit Clerk tenders evidence in an alleged theft matter

November 19, 2021

By Jeneba A Conteh

The exhibit clerk attached to the Crime Writers/ Exhibit Office, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown, Detective Sergeant 1516 Abu Conteh, has tendered  twenty three solar panels, five batteries and seventeen bed nets in respect of an alleged theft of  solar panels.

The accused in the above matter, Joseph Sylvester Conteh, Amadu Bello Fofanah and Abass Kamara are before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of Pademba Road Court No .1, on preliminary investigation for conspiracy and larceny contrary to Section 2 of the Larceny Act of 1916.

It was alleged that between the 1st  of August and 30th of September 2021, at Kamara  Street, Masoila, Lungi, in the Port Loko Judicial District, North West Region of the Republic of Sierra Leone, conspired with other persons unknown and stole forty solar panels and forty solar batteries belonging to the Government of Sierra Leone.

Taking the witness stand and led in his examination in chief by Inspector  Fofanah G, the exhibit clerk said he is responsible to receiving and keeping all exhibits brought to the office in relation to cases that are reported and investigated by CID and produce same in court when needed.

He said on the 6th day of October, 2021, he was on duty when Detective Police Constable 13373 Bockarie M, attached to the Major Incident Unit at CID headquarters, handed over to him the items as exhibits in respect of the above matter including twenty three solar street panels, five solar batteries and seventeen bed nets.

He said he took possession of them and registered them in the court’s exhibit book against serial number 211/2021 and since then they have been in his custody.

Testing his evidence in cross examination, the exhibit clerk said he didn’t register the serial number of the solar panels.

“My Lord, my duty as an exhibit clerk is to receive and keep items relating to cases,” he stated.

The previous witness, Mustapha Sannoh, Director of the Ministry of Energy, was also docked by the prosecutor, Inspector G Fofanah, to ascertain whether the exhibits were the ones he took to the Criminal Investigations Department.

Sannoh further produced in court supporting documents to clarify his point.

The first prosecution witness said solar panels have different characteristics and specifications and that the temperature, voltage, maximum current, the efficiency, the open and short circuit of the panel, the fuss, and watts are different.

Questioned about the serial number on the solar panels in court, the director said all the solar panels they brought had their seals. 

At the end of the cross examination, Magistrate Sahr Kekura adjourned the matter to the 25th of November 2021 for the prosecution to take its next witness

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