The Chief Fire Fighter of the National Fire Force, Nagir Ahmad Allieu Kamanda Bongay has on Wednesday 17th February 2016 testified in court before Magistrate Abu-Bakarr Binneh Kamara magistrate court No.1, as evidence continues to unfold over the Electricity House inferno.
The witness, Chief Kamanda Bongay in his testimony said that some of his duties are to monitor the administration and operations of the institution and also provide command and control to all fire fighters in Sierra Leone.
He also attends to fire incidences that are of higher nature and always take part in fire related investigations, fire preventions and all other fire fighting. He recalled the incident that occurred on Saturday 16th January, 2016.
He said on that fateful day he was at home in the morning hours when a radio communication message came in that there was a fire incident at the Electricity House. He left his house for the scene to help put out the fire.
On his arrival at the scene, he observed that the third floor of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) was on heavy smoke and five operational officers were battling to put the fire off. He said that the operation lasted for 15 hours.
He further told the Court that they later conducted an investigation to ascertain the cause of the inferno. He also said that their report was submitted to the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters at Siaka Steven Street.
The chief fire fighter informed the Bench that during the cause of their investigation, they noticed that there was an electrical problem on the 3rd floor of the building.
They also observed that some electrical repairs had been undertaken on the said floor, prior to the fire accident on Friday 15th January, 2016. He informed that they also observed that electrical current was flowing at the time of the fire incident.
He continued that upon interviewing the sub-personnel of EDSA, they learnt that the store keeper, Moses Allieu Lansana went into the store on that fateful morning, placed three switches on, closed the door and went out.
He also understood from the same interview that the store keeper was the sole custodian of the main key to the store and during the incident, he was nowhere to be found and they had to physically open the door to gain access to the store.
The storekeeper Moses Allieu Lansana is standing trial on three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to law, arson contrary to section 3 of the Malicious Damage Act of 1861 and setting fire to any matter or thing being in a building contrary to section 7 of the Malicious Damage Act of 1861.
The Prosecutor, ASP Kamara alleged in count, that the accused on 16th January, 2016 at the Electricity House in Freetown conspired together with other persons unknown to commit a felony to wit arson.
He also alleged in count 2 that the accused on the same date unlawfully and maliciously set fire on the EDSA store with intent to defraud the government of Sierra Leone. Whilst count 3 continues that the accused on the said date, at the third floor of the Electricity house lawfully and maliciously set fire at to a certain properties of value in a room known as store,
The accused person is yet to fulfill his bail conditions.
The matter was adjourned to25th Febuary, 2016 for cross examination by the lead defence counsel, Lawyer Fio Edwards
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.