Sierra Leone’s magistrate Kekura sends Chinese national to prison for electricity theft

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 August 2021:

Magistrate Sahr Kekura yesterday sentenced Li Shichao, Manager of the National Workshop in Cline Town in the east end of Freetown to four years imprisonment for electricity theft, after he was brought before the Court for illegal supplying and selling electricity belonging to the national grid, contrary to section 63 of the National electricity Act No. 16 of 2011.

According to the prosecution – Assistant Superintendent of Police Aminatu Daboh, Li Shichao on Thursday 12th August 2021, illegally engaged in the sale of electricity produced by the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), from his workshop to various houses in the Cline Town area of Freetown.

After reading and explaining the charge to the accused in the language he understood, he then pleaded guilty.

In his mitigation plea however, defence counsel Mansaray told the Court that the convict did not waste court’s time by pleading guilty immediately. He also said that because Li Shichao is a first-time offender, the Magistrate should temper justice with mercy.

In reply, Magistrate Kekura said in as much as the accused (Li Shichao) had pleaded guilty and with special consideration to the Counsel’s plea in mitigation, he will reduce his sentence to four years imprisonment.

Alternatively, Magistrate Kekura also stated that either the convict serves the four years at the Male Correctional Centre or pay a fine of Fifteen Million Leones.


  1. You are looking at me, magistrate Sahr Kekura to have mercy on you because you are a namesake? No way on this glorious platform. It’s a disgrace for someone to have the noble name Sahr dragged in such a mess. Are you blind or deaf for not seeing or hearing all the good things about other Sahrs? Terrible and disappointing stuff. Are foreigners above the law? Do foreigners have special concessions when it comes to sentencing? Why give exorbitant fines to Sierra Leoneans and chicken fines to Chinese citizens? Shāngxīn! I hope that the Chief Justice will look into the matter, and if you are found guilty of corruption, you have to pay the price. Have to!.

    The Chief Justice should look into the fines and sentences levied on all persons involved in electricity theft to bring credibility to the office of the Chief Justice. God help the Chief Justice to do the right thing and root out corruption in our justice system. Zàijiàn magistrate Sahr Kekura.

  2. Charles Caulker, nothing should shock or surprise you about our so-called magistrates and judges. Sahr Kekura works within an established framework of corruption which we mistakenly refer to as the judiciary. Justice is dispensed behind the scenes. The Chinese national runs a business – don’t you think an emissary of his covertly sank millions of Leones into Kekura’s pocket for the latter to miscarry justice? Apart from Kekura having obtained his credentials from the corner shop, he suffers from the disease of inferiority complex. That’s why he is on the bandwagon of punishing fellow Sierra Leoneans more severely than those with pale skins and deep pockets. Sierra Leone is in a mess.

  3. Sierra Leonean citizens are granted Le50 million bail for alleged electricity theft for their own personal use; and here you have a Chinese national found guilty for tapping into and selling electricity to others and for use in his factory, in order to enrich himself is asked to pay Le15 million fine as an alternative to going to prison. This is a joke! What kind of people are we? This magistrate should hang his head in shame.

    Just think about the billions of Leones this Chinese man has made from stealing and selling electricity only to then pay back Le15 million to avoid jail? This does not make sense. Salone justice too corrupt. Disgusting!

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