By Austine Luseni
Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, on July 24,2021 officially turned on the solar lights in Madina Town,Tonko Limba Chiefdom, Kambia District, on Saturday, where he reiterated the commitment of President Julius Maada Bio to take development to every region of the country and to particularly give Madina Town a remarkable facelift.
In his welcome address, Paramount Chief of Tonko Limba Chiefdom,PC Alimamy Bombomlahai IV, described the occasion as historic and monumental, praising the government and stakeholders like Hon. Manso Dumbuya for always thinking about Tonko Limba.
He expressed the appreciation of his people to the government for the electricity and promised that they would own and protect the facility.
While commissioning the mini grid, Alhaji Kanja Sesay recalled his days at the National Commission for Social Action, NaCSA, when he took development to Tonko Limba chiefdom. He praised Hon. Manso Dumbuya and other stakeholders in the district for their commitment to transforming lives in Kambia by arduously lobbying for development.
He spoke about how close Kambia district was to the heart of President Bio, noting that the government had recently launched an energy project with the sole aim of bringing the town’s tiring 40-year wait for electricity to an end. He told the people that electricity poles were now being erected in Kambia.
The Minister of Energy said the facility he was commissioning was quintessential of government’s rural electrification drive which he said was being aggressively pursued by the New Direction administration. He spoke about the tariff system, the sustainability and affordability of the light and the need for the people to own the project.
Son of the soil of Tonko Limba and one of the accomplished stakeholders in Kambia district, Hon. Manso Dumbuya, said the day was one of his happiest days, adding that the Sierra Leone People’s Party was treating the people of Tonko with utmost love and respect. He called on his kinsmen to reciprocate the love by embracing the SLPP government and development.
Hon. Manso Dumbuya went on to say that the people of Madina last saw electricity in 1975 and promised the people that more development would be unleashed on the chiefdom.
Power Leone’s Community Liaison Officer, Maseray Fofanah, said her company was the company that was going to operate the facility. She said Power Leone was operating in the districts of Port Loko, Kambia and Moyamba, adding that the company had registered a total of 243 customers in Madina. She concluded by saying that the customers had been trained on how they were to use the facility.
Earlier on, the Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Emmanuel Junisa, gave an overview of the project. Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Guinea, Alimamy Bangura, graced the occasion.
World Vision Donates 8 Motorbikes to MoHS
The National Director of NGO Affairs, Eric Massally, has officially handed over keys to eight (8) motorcycles that were donated by World Vision Sierra Leone (WVSL) to the Chief Medical Officer to support outreach activities in the health sector.
The donated motorcycles would be handed to eight Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) in Tikonkoh, Bumpeh and Serabu area programs. The support would be geared towards supporting these outreach activities in those communities, and providing health services to the local population in and around the communities.
Speaking at the donation, Director Massally commended World Vision for the tremendous role they continue to play in complementing government’s effort, particularly with supporting to achieve government’s development plans.
He said the motorcycles would be important in enhancing effective outreach activities in hard to reach communities, encouraging the communities to make use of the opportunity and by promoting community ownership.
Grace Kargbo, Programs Director, Operations, WVSL noted that since the program would be ending this year it was important that World Vision continues to support government in its role to providing effective health care services, particularly outreach activities in these communities. She called on the community health workers receiving the motorcycles to be steadfast in their roles in order to facilitate efficient delivery of their services.
The Chief Medical Officer, Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas T. Samba, while handing over the bikes to the community, appreciated World Vision for such laudable venture. He said the motor bikes would go a long way in helping the healthcare workers with transportation problems in their outreach programs more especially in the remote areas where road networks are poor.
UN Job for Basic Education Minister David Sengeh
By Mohamed Massaquoi
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 22nd July at its Management Segment Meeting under agenda item 4 elected by acclamation twenty-four (24) Experts including Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Moinina David Sengeh, as members of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) for a four-year term starting from 1st August 2021 and ending on 31st July 2025.
Dr. Sengeh and the 23 other Experts were nominated by the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, and appointed by ECOSOC, charged with the mandate of providing policy advice and programmatic guidance to ECOSOC on issues pertaining to governance and public administration, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and support of the implementation and progress reviews of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is worthwhile to note that CEPA was established by ECOSOC in its resolution 2001/45 and CEPA meets annually at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Before his appointment as the first Chief Innovation Officer of Sierra Leone and Minister, Dr. Sengeh worked as a Research Manager at IBM Research Africa, where he led the healthcare team to design, and implement applied Artificial Intelligence systems for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of disease in Africa.
Prior to joining IBM, Dr. Sengeh completed his PhD. at the MIT Media Lab where his research was at the intersection of medical imaging, computer-aided design and multi-material 3D printing. He invented low-cost, wearable mechanical interfaces that improved prosthetic comfort for amputees.
Furthermore, Dr. Sengeh has published several academic journals and is a holder of patents in the prosthetics and AI fields. Dr. Sengeh is also a co-Founder and was the President (10 years) of Global Minimum (gmin.org), an international NGO that develops platforms to foster innovation and learning, focusing on high school students in Sierra Leone and Kenya. He is also an Obama African Leader, a Senior TED Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and a recording Afrobeat artist.
The Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York is pleased to have facilitated and efficiently coordinated the endorsement of the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and we wish him the absolute best on his new assignment.
MP & 3 Others Languish In Jail
By Feima Sesay
State prosecutor Yusif Isacc Sesay on Monday 26 July 2021 requested for and adjournment in order to take another line of action against Hon. Emmanuel Saidu Conteh and three others in the on-going preliminary investigation of alleged illegal possession of arms and ammunition.
He made this application before the presiding Magistrate Sahr Kekura of court No1.
He intimated the Bench that he cannot proceed with the matter as they are preparing their matters against the accused persons.
He also informed the court that witnesses were present but could not proceed with them because of the post charged.
J.M Jengo in reply objecting to the application for an adjournment, adding that the prosecution knew the investigation had not come to an end and that his client has been in jail for quite a long time now and that his client has sustained injury on his hand at the correctional facility.
He added that when he went to the facility over the weekend, he discovered that the first accused Nabie Unisa Raymond Bangura’s hand was hit by a door and that all what the facility could provide was mere ice block.
In the circumstances, he said since the state cannot proceed, he pleaded with the Bench for his client to be admitted to bail for him to get proper medical attention.
Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya for the second accused Hon. Emmanuel Saidu Conteh also in reply said he is disappointed at the prosecution’s decision for an adjournment in order to take a line of action when his clients’ health is deteriorating. He applied to the Bench for the medical record of the second accused which is in the hands of the prison doctor to be made available to the court.
He said it is no fault of the second accused that the prosecution charged him, adding that Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done and that the manner of the prosecution conducting their trial should not be at the expense of the clients’ liberty.
He added that the offence for which his client is in court is a bailable offence.
Lawyer Dumbuya said his client is a Honourable member of parliament representing a whole constituency. He continued that his client has a serious medical condition that needs to be treated speedily and therefore renewed his application for bail.
Counsel for the third and fourth accused Lawyer M.M Bittar said they are mere employees working for a clearing agency and that keeping them at Pademba Road is not fair. He reiterated that the third and fourth accused persons are innocent employees working for a company.
State counsel Yusif I. Sesay upheld and adopted the previous application made by J.A.K Sesay for an adjournment in order to take a line of action. He said the line of action they intend to take is in the best interest of justice and that the line of action will take time.
He said opposing to bail does not make one a persecutor and therefore opposed to bail being granted to all the accused persons due to the serious nature of the offences charged.
Magistrate Sahr Kekura urged the prosecutor to put their house in order and come with their witnesses in order to make progress on the next adjourned date.
He however assured lawyer Dumbuya that his application for the medical report of the second accused, Hon Emmanuel Saidu Conteh will be made available to him.
In the circumstance, he refused bail and remanded all the accused persons in prison and adjourned the matter to 2nd August 2021.
The accused persons Nabie Unisa Raymond Bangura, Hon. Emmanuel Saidu Conteh, Micheal Alpha Fornah and Sheriff Jalloh are standing trial on three counts charges of conspiracy, illegal importation of arms and ammunition and unlawful possession of arms and ammunition all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
According to the police, the accused persons on 22 April 2021 and 2nd July 2021, were found in possession of 7 pistols, 12 empty magazines and 100 live rounds of bullets without lawful authority.
Over Alleged Fuel Theft…
Malador & Associates’ Manager Jailed
By Feima Sesay
Magistrate Sahr Kekura at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 on Monday 26th July 2021 sent Patrick Sheku Kabba into remand at the Male Correctional Facility on Pademba Road in the ongoing preliminary Investigation into alleged fuel theft.
Police alleged that the accused person, Patrick Sheku Kabba on Friday 11th June 2021, along Bo, Kenema Highway in Sierra Leone, being the manager for Malador and Associates, Bo branch, fraudulently converted the sum of one hundred and thirteen million six hundred and ninety three thousand Leones proceeds of 10,000 litres of petrol and diesel, property of Malador and Associates.
He was charged with one count charge of embezzlement contrary to Section 17 (2) (b) of the Larceny Act 1916.
Prosecution witness and Chief Finance Officer Malador and Associates, Sahr Sorie Kabba, identified the accused as his brother and immediate boss in one of their filling stations in Bo.
He recalled the 11th June 2021, he discovered a pending petroleum products of 10,200 litres. He added that he mounted an investigation into the aforementioned.
He continued that the following day, he opened the station, but did not see the product. He said the accused was invited to explain the whereabouts of the product, but the witness said the accused disclosed that he did receive the product, but do not know what went wrong.
The witness said he decided to give the accused sometime to enable him figure out what was amiss, but he said the witness responded that he noticed a shortage of 2,000 litres in the tank.
The witness said he told the accused that the 2,000 litres shortage is not commensurate to the one missing.
He furthered that he told the accused to remove the money at the safe, adding that he had instructed him to give the sum of Le 913,000 to his assistant to pay at the bank, while he retain the remaining Le 40 million for one of their customers, but when it was time for him to open the safe, the accused told him that Le 26,693 was missing from the Le 40 million.
The witness said when he asked the witness about the Le 26 million that was missing, he responded that he had kept it in his personal account.
The witness said he reminded the accused of the company’s policy that no one should put the company’s money in his or her personal account. The witness disclosed that he asked that he went with the accused to the bank to collect the money, but the accused was nowhere to be found.
He disclosed that after several hours of search, he reported the matter at the Bo Police Station. He indicated that the total amount of money involved is Le 113,693,000 for stocks and cash, property of Malador and Associates.
He said the police requested for photos of the accused which he made available. Before long, the witness said he got intelligence that the accused was hiding at a village in Kabala. The witness said he later apprehended the accused and handed him to the police. The witness made statement at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where the matter was being investigated.
He revealed that Malador and Associates is yet to receive any money from the accused in respect of the case.
The accused who was not represented in court said he hadn’t any questions for the witness when he was asked to do so, but he said the CID did not do proper Investigation into the matter. He disclosed that Terre are factors to the shortage.
Magistrate Sahr Kekura remanded the accused and he adjourned the matter to 2nd July 2021.
“Massah Kaikai Was Brutally Killed”
-Dr. Owizz Koroma Tells Court
By Feima Sesay
Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma on Thursday 22 July stated in open court before Justice Ivan Ansumana Sesay (JA) that Massah Kaikai was brutally murdered.
The deceased Massah Kaikai was the daughter of Hon. Ansu Kaikai. She was also a philanthropist and social worker, business woman and US citizen.
The accused Ibrahim Mansaray who is presently standing trial at the High Court for murder was a driver to the deceased.
Dr. Owizz Koroma the government consultant and Forensic Pathologist who also doubles as Chief Superintendent of Police in further testimony said his duties include training of medical students, the training of medical laboratory scientific officers and also the training of police scientific officers in various medical fields.
“As a forensic pathologist, I performed hospital autopsy as well as medical legal autopsy and all exhumation for the republic of Sierra Leone nationally and internationally”, he noted.
Dr. Owizz also recalled 2 April 2019, adding that on that date, he was at Connaught teaching hospital and that upon the instruction of the then chief medical officer and at the request of the corona for Freetown, he performed an exhumation and carried out a post-mortem examination on the remains of the deceased, at the site No 44B Lower Pipeline, Smart Farm, off Wilkinson Road, Freetown.
He added that at the site, they retrieved the body well-wrapped with window curtain and neatly tied with a rope but it was only the skeletal remains with no more flesh. He said after the exhumation, and from the bones he was able to know that it was a female skeleton that was identified as Massah Kaikai a 40 years’ old US citizen.
He said the post-mortem conducted at the site was done in the presence of the DPP, Director of Crime Services, officials from the US, head of scientific department, line manager, the scene of crime officer, the owner of the said resident, friend of the accused Mohamed Kamara and several other relevant authorities.
“Upon completion, I reduced my findings into a post-mortem report which has since been with the judiciary”, he explained. The photos of the said bones and exhumation processes were identified in court by the witness.
The witness said specimen of the deceased was handed over to the FBI for DNA purposes and for personal identification of the decease.
According to him, during the post-mortem examination after the body was exhumed, he discover that, the deceased was missing for over 8 months, and was neatly wrapped with window cotton, tied with a rope at her ankle level with both knees push upwards.
He said the external examination shows that the neck was fractured, skull depress, the brain was absent over 8 month, the chest was dried and the lungs were no longer there, the heart was destroy, the intestine and liver were decomposed and that the oesophagus was also absent.
Dr. Owizz also stated that the deceased bladder was decomposed; her genital was empty with her cervical vertebrae dislocated.
While stating the pathological cause of death, he said: “In my expert opinion, the cause of death was neither accidental, nor suicidal but evidently homicidal”, he noted.
According to Dr. Owizz the death of the deceased was unnatural due to manual strangulation and that the act itself was horrific that bears the mark of brutal killing, adding that no normal person could do such act.
He reiterated that the skull was fractured, due to a blunt force injury on the head, fracture of the horn/wings, of the hydroid bones.
The witness further disclosed in court that the specimen on the remains of the deceased Massah Kaikai that was given to the FBI for DNA and personal identification in the US also confirms that the remains was that of the deceased.
The said cause of death certificate was tendered in court to form part of the prosecution evidence against the accused person.
The defense lawyer Cecelia Tucker from Legal Aid Board cross examined the witness as to how they came to know where the remains of the deceased was buried. The witness told the court that it was through investigation by the police and the FBI.
Lawyer Jessy Tucker prosecuted the matter on behalf of the states.
However, the accused Ibrahim Mansaray is standing trial before Justice Ivan Ansumana Sesay (JA) of the high court on three counts charges ranging from murder contrary to law, burying a human body in a place other than a cemetery contrary to section 61(1) a of the public health Act 1960 act No 23 of 1960 and Larceny in a dwelling house 13a of the Larceny Act 1916.
According to the Indictment on count one, the police alleged that the accused sometimes in August 2018, in Freetown murder Massah Kaikai.
It was further alleged that the accused on the aforementioned date burry a human body in a place other than a cemetery. Whiles counts three stated that the accused on 9 August 2018 in the dwelling house of the deceased stole her iPad, Apple mobile phone, computer and other properties valued (le12,285,000) property of the decease.
The matter was adjourned for further hearing