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As NRA/Ecobank mega fraud case resumes…

Defence witness says: ‘I gave US$42,250 to first accused for safekeeping’

By Hassan G. Koroma

The second defence witness in the ongoing National Revenue Authority (NRA)/Ecobank mega fraud case, Tejan Kowa, has told the court that he gave first accused, Ibrahim B. Lavaley, the sum of U$42,250 for safekeeping.

Kowa said the money was remitted by his elder brother, Abdul Kowa, a nurse in the United States of America, and that the remittances were done piecemeal, spanning seven months, from June to December 2012, via various Sierra Leoneans who were visiting from the United States.

Testifying yesterday at the Freetown High Court No.2 presided over by Justice M.A. Paul, the witness said the first accused was a school mate at the Bo Secondary School.

He said the money was meant for the development of a land his brother had bought at Hill Station, west of Freetown.

The accused is charged together with a host of others, having being accused of siphoning millions of Leones in what anti-graft prosecutors say was a syndicate between officials at the revenue collection authority and the Ecobank.

The matter comes up today for further testimony.