By Musa Paul Feika
Alhaji Saidu Kanu is standing trial at the Ross Road Magistrate Court No. 1, which is presided over by Magistrate Alhaji Suliaman Koroma, for allegedly breaking into the store of the complainant, Abdul Conteh, and stole therein seven (vehicle) batteries worth millions of Leones, which are properties of the complainant.
The incident reportedly took place on the 25th August, 2020 at Beccles Street, Wellington in Freetown.
The police prosecution witness, Saidu Bangura, who is also a motor mechanic, in his testimony, told the court that he recognized the accused as his neighbour and could recall Tuesday 25th August, 2020.
According to him, on that fateful day, he was at home sleeping during a heavy downpour, when he heard a strange noise at the store. This witness said the noise prompted him to come out. When he did, he saw the accused standing at the entrance of the store in question.
“Who is that?” The witness told the court that he asked the accused this question.
The witness said he attempted to get rid of the accused, but, according to him, he saw a kitchen knife with the accused and this made him to withdraw and shouted loudly, “Tif! Tif! Tif!”
Mr. Bangura said, when he screamed for help, one of his friends, Osman, came at the alleged crime scene. However the accused had already fled the crime scene, leaving behind the kitchen knife and his slippers.
The witness told the court that they took the knife and slippers and kept them as exhibits. He further testified that he later contacted the complainant, Abdul Conteh, and narrated what exactly transpired between him and the accused.
Mr. Bangura said the complainant later arrived at the crime scene and discovered that seven (vehicle) batteries were missing and he reported the matter at the Kissy Police Division, in Freetown. He said the accused was subsequently apprehended in his residence at Beccles Street, Wellington in Freetown.
The witness noted that, during the course of the search, the following items were discovered, one pistol, hammer, scissors, plier and two kitchen knives. He said all of the items, including the accused, were taken at the Kissy Police Division, in Freetown and he made a statement regarding the matter.
During the cross examination, by the defence counsel, I.S.Y. Kamara, he asked the witness whether he knew the accused before the alleged incident. In reply, the witness said he had known the accused for the past one year six months.
Lawyer Kamara asked the witness whether he ever knew the accused as thief at Beccles Street Community. The witness answered yes.
The defence counsel asked the witness whether the accused had visited the complainant`s garage before the alleged incident. In reply the witness responded in the affirmative.
Mr. Kamara put it to the witness, whether he knew the distinction between a real pistol and a faked one. He said no.
Mr. Kamara eventually put it to the witness that, since he could not tell the difference between a real pistol and a faked one, he has not been truthful to the court. He also further put it to witness that, the allegation levied against his client was premeditated by him and the complainant.
In his response, the witness said all what he narrated in court was nothing but the truth in respect of the matter.
The police charge sheet indicates that Alhaji Saidu Kanu, on the Tuesday 25th August, 2020, at Beccles Street, Wellington in Freetown, broke into the store of the complainant, Abdul Conteh, and stole seven (vehicle) batteries worth millions of Leones.
The accused was denied bail and remanded at the Male Correctional Centre, Pademba Road in Freetown. The matter will come up again on 5th October, 2020.