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EPA-SL catches fake Informant impersonating

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

He has been in this mucky dealing in the country for long, but his luck failed him when officials of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone and Management of G. Shankerdas with police assistance put an end to his happy-lucky-go enterprise. Mr. Sheik Tubhoku Johnson is a known impersonator going around the country and presenting himself as a legitimate staff  of the Environment Protection Agency(EPA) He ran out of luck and got himself arrested. He is currently in police custody awaiting further legal action, probably for extort money from G. Shankerdas and other institutions.

The Environment Protection Agency is considered a credible Government Institution in the country since its establishment in 2010. Its primary responsibility is to protect the Sierra Leonean environment and issues relating to Environmental Impact Assessment and license to companies that are engaged in mining, Extractive Activity, Construction of Housing, Roads and quarrying.

Sheik Tubhoku Johnson being escorted by Police from Shankerdas Office

Sheik Tubhoku Johnson being escorted by Police from Shankerdas Office

He is allegedly in the habit of faking and using the license of the Agency to fall prey on his unsuspecting victims. The suspect, who has identified himself to Police as Sheik Tubhoku Johnson, was caught with the institution’s official letterhead, an unsigned letter purportedly written by one Mr. Kamara from the EPA-SL.

According to sources from the EPA-SL, they been receiving information that certain individuals are going around posing as members of staff of the institution while siphoning monies from companies. At Senior Management level of the Agency, there has been counter accusations as to who is engaged in this mucky activity. The imposter reportedly told Management of the G. Shankadas Company that the Environment Protection Agency has assigned him the Company to protect it from the malicious publications from the media (both Print and Electronics).

In his fake and fraudulent letter to G. Shankadas and Sons, he wrote ‘to intensify our work, we therefore again make the provision of EPA Field Informant for the Western area Sheik Tubhoku Johnson. And by virtue of information received by the field informant, we want to certify that G Shankadas shall be called upon for EPA license interview at anytime effective 18th May 2014- if they could give photographs and help our field officer to see their previous developmental site. This information triggered management of G.Shankerdas and Sons to contact the Agency The Agency through its Deputy Director for Field Operations had denied knowledge of any staff going to G.Shankerdas and Sons, and immediately alerted them for his arrest. The EPA-SL Deputy Director for Field Operations and Extension, Mr. Syl-Brains Kamara confirmed that they have been receiving disturbing reports and complaints from the public that their members are extorting money from companies in other to issue out Environment Impact Assessment License. He said that staff of the Agency had never engaged in such dealings and re-echoed that whenever they visit any company for the purpose of law or monitoring, they should do so in a transparent manner and invite the police and the media.

Mr. Kamara noted that as a credible institution that has overwhelmingly performed and won two awards, they are calling on the public to always inform the Agency when any staff visits their institutions without clear identification.

Commenting on what should be done to Sheik Tubhoku Johnson, the Deputy Director said the matter is now in the hands of the police, and are finding ways to which such unhealthy practice will be put to an end.

The suspect said his actions are not deliberate as he has been trying to get in touch with EPA to ‘identify himself as a Sheik, not with any fictitious intention’.  The suspect pleaded for mercy with the institution adding that he has a large family that depends on him for survival. He disclosed that he got the EPA logo from the internet and has been operating alone.

 

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