Two Drivers behind bars on alleged theft

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By Elizabeth Kamara

Twenty-one-year-old Alhaji Conteh and twenty-nine-year-old Osman Dumbuya, both drivers, made another appearance before Magistrate Santigie Bangura at Pademba Road Court No. 2 in Freetown.

They face two charges: conspiracy to commit a felony and larceny, contrary to Section 2 of the Larceny Act 1916.

According to the prosecution, on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the Youyi Building in the Western Area of Freetown, Conteh and Dumbuya conspired with others to commit larceny.

It is alleged that on the same date and place, they stole a white Toyota 4Runner Jeep with garage number plate (GP) 79802408, valued at thirty-five thousand United States dollars ($35,000), equivalent to six hundred thousand Leones (600,000), property of Aminata Dumbuya.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Dialla Wellington led the prosecution’s first witness, Aminata Dumbuya, a business executive and energy access professional.

She testified that she knew the first accused, Alhaji Conteh, as her driver for four months and had come to know the second accused, Osman Dumbuya, through this matter.

On June 13, 2024, she and Conteh went to the Youyi Building for a meeting. After the meeting, she called Conteh to pick her up, but he did not answer. Despite multiple calls, she could not reach him.

She searched the Youyi Building compound but could not find Conteh. When she finally reached him, Conteh claimed he went to change a flat tire but did not answer subsequent calls, and his phone was eventually switched off.

Aminata tracked her laptop, which was in the car, to Joe Town, Newton, Western Rural District.

She informed her elder brother, who contacted the police. About 40 minutes later, police showed her pictures of her vehicle and the second accused driving it, stating it was at a checkpoint in Kambia District. Aminata traveled to Port Loko, where she found her vehicle and laptop intact and reclaimed them. She subsequently made a statement to the police.

Defense counsel I.S.Y. Kamara cross-examined the witness and applied for bail on behalf of the accused, arguing that they are Sierra Leoneans with fixed residences, not flight risks, and have reliable sureties willing to vouch for them. His application was made pursuant to Section 79(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965.

However, Magistrate Bangura denied bail and remanded the accused to the male correctional facility in Freetown. The matter was adjourned to July 10, 2024.

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