Senior Finance Ministry official in court for alleged land feud

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By Mohamed J Kargbo

Joseph Ngegba, a Director at the Ministry of Finance, Investment Unit, made his first appearance before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of  the Pademba Road Court No.1 in Freetown.

 The accused is standing trial on four count charges to wit trespass, malicious damage, threating language, and intimidation,all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

When the charges were read and explained to him by the court register, he pleaded not guilty to all the allegations.

It was alleged that the accused, on the 11th May 2023, at No.2 River, Off Peninsula Road in Freetown, unlawfully entered, in an annoying  manner,  upon the land situate lying and being at  No.2 River Off Peninsular Road Freetown belonging to Alhaji Dauda.

It was alleged on count two  that on the above said date and the same place in Freetown the accused did maliciously damage an iron gate on the above said land aforesaid valued at 50,000/00 New Leones  property of  Alhaji Dauda.

Police alleged that on the same date and place in Freetown the accused did make use of threating language against the complainant with intent to annoy him.

And lastly it was also alleged that the accused on the above mentioned date and place in Freetown did intimidated the above said complainant  in an effort to prevent him from going about his lawful duties.

Alhaji Dauda, an accountant, who doubles as the complainant and witness in the case, said he came to know the accused in respect of the case and did recalls on 11th May 2023.

 He said on that day he was hosting workers at the said site at No2 that were to fix up a gate to secure the land.

 He also said after the work commenced the accused came with thugs, who were holding  machetes and disrupted the work, adding that  while they were on the scuffle, the accused  boasted that, “this na we government and nobody will do anything or go question me. I am a Director at the Ministry of Finance.

The witness concluded his testimony that he reported the matter at the Lumley Police Station the land grabbing unit.

 He said one inspector Edward Conteh, together with him, visited the scene of crime of which he took snapshots and later obtained statement from the complainant.

At that juncture, the prosecutor sought for a shot date for his client.

The defense counsel made an application for bail on behalf of his client but the prosecutor objected to the application.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Sahr Kekura granted the accused bail in the sum of 100 thousands New Leones with one sortie.

 He ordered that the surety must be employ and must resident in Freetown and the bail will be verified by the master of registrar.

The matter was adjourned to the 13th March 2024.

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