October 6, 2015 By Hawa Amara
Magistrate Komba Kamanda yesterday granted a rigid Le1 billion bail for each of the three accused persons charged with theft of 137 drums of fuel oil from the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) store at a sub-station at Blackhall Road, east of Freetown.
The prosecutor says the oil is valued at nine hundred and sixty-one million, six hundred and twenty-five thousand and fifty Leones (Le961,625,050).
Apart from the huge monetary guarantee, the accused should each secure the recognisance of two sureties in like sum, one of the sureties obliged to produce a title deed to property in the Freetown jurisdiction. The bail conditions ought to be approved by the acting Master and Registrar.
The accused persons, Umaru Daniel Kanu, Alimamy Kanu and John Estrada Jarrett, were arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 on 46 counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and larceny by servant, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
According to the particulars of offence, between 1 February and 9 September, 2015, while being clerk or servant employed by EGTC, the accused persons stole 97 and 40 drums of oil respectively, valued at Le961,625,050; being property of the power generating company.
While giving testimony, acting Deputy Director General of the company, John Amara Kabia, told the court that EGTC is a body established by statute to upgrade, maintain and operate all government-owned generation power stations, and supply electricity in the country.
Identifying the roles of the accused persons, the witness said the first accused (Umaru Daniel Kanu) served as Assistant Accountant; the second accused Alimamy Kanu was attached to the Stores Department and took inventory of all goods in the store; while third accused Estrada Jarrett was the Data Processing Operator attached to the stores.
He said between 1 February and 9 September, 2015, acting Director General Dennis Garvie had briefed him on several issues about the company, including a report by internal auditors which revealed that large quantities of lubricating oil could not be accounted for.
The witness further told the court that his boss instructed him in early September to start an investigation into the missing items and report to higher authorities.
He said the second and third accused persons then failed to report for work on subsequent days and could not be reached by their phones, thus his boss instructed him to make a report at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters on Pademba Road.
The accused persons are represented by I. Kanu, H.K. Koroma, J. Cole, A.R. Kamara, A.S. Bangura and L. Jenkins-Johnston Jr.
The matter will come up again on 7 October.