Ministry of Works employee faces court for alleged fraud

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By Blessing C Cole

Samuel Thullah, a 33-year-old civil servant employed at the Ministry of Works, appeared before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Pademba Road Court No.1 in Freetown, facing a charge of obtaining money by false pretense, as stipulated in Section 32 (1) of the Larceny Act of 1916.

The alleged offense took place between July and August 2023 at No.12 Percival Street in the Western area of Freetown.

Thullah is accused of obtaining the sum of thirty-nine thousand Leones (39,000) from Nelson Sali Konneh by falsely pretending to purchase five Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) meters – three single-phase meters and two three-phase meters.

Thullah also purportedly promised to perform electrical connections at Konneh’s residence, despite knowing these claims to be false.

During the court proceedings, Thullah pleaded not guilty after the charges were read and explained to him.

In his testimony, witness Nelson Salia Konneh explained that he sought a meter and received a recommendation for Thullah’s services. The accused allegedly received fourteen thousand five hundred Leones for five meters (three single-phase and two three-phase).

Konneh claimed that Thullah informed him the meters were being prepared and later took measurements for electrical cables, estimating an additional cost of sixteen thousand Leones, including workmanship.

Konneh continued, stating that Thullah requested an extra eight thousand Leones to purchase additional cable and five hundred Leones for meter top-up. However, Thullah reportedly bought only a hundred yards of cable instead of the agreed-upon 180 yards, and the meters turned out to be faulty. Konneh asserted that Thullah became elusive, prompting him to report the matter to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after learning of Thullah’s whereabouts.

The prosecutor requested a short adjournment to confer with the witness properly, while counsel representing the accused, Chernor Kamara, applied for bail on the grounds that Thullah is a Sierra Leonean with reliable sureties.

Kamara assured the court that the accused would not interfere with prosecution witnesses and would not abscond.

However, Magistrate Kekura denied bail, remanding Thullah to the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown. The case was adjourned to 20th February 2024 for further proceedings, with Sergeant 9939 Mohamed Lahai prosecuting the matter.

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