September 14, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura
Principle Magistrate at the Freetown Magistrates Court No.1, Mr. Albert Moody, yesterday discharged eleven Bank of Sierra Leone officers charged with fraud. The eleven officers, including five bankers, five securities and a driver, were however immediately whisked to the Anti-Corruption Commission by the police.
Magistrate Moody pronounced the discharge order following a ‘no evidence’ submission by the Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police Samuel Kamara.
“As the police prosecutor has stated that there is no further evidence against the first, second, third, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and eleventh accused persons and no evidence against the fourth, seventh and tenth accused persons, I therefore discharge all accused persons,” Magistrate Moody ordered.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Samuel Kamara had earlier submitted to the magistrate that after the first prosecution witness testified in court, the prosecution offered no further evidence against all of the eleven accused persons.
He further requested that exhibit that was tendered in court be returned to the prosecution in other that it be handed over to its rightful owner.
Immediately Magistrate Moody ordered the discharge of the accused persons, Senior Investigating Officer at the Anti- Corruption Commission, Augustine Ngobie, announced that all the accused persons should turn themselves in at the Commission’s headquarters in Freetown.
All the accused persons were loaded into a police truck and taken to the ACC for seemingly further investigation.
Cecilia Fatola Annie Ben-Carew, Abdul Ibrahim Sama, Komba Gbolie, Rebecca Kosonikeh Fuller, Yayah Hamid Gabreel Kamara, Dankawallie Mansaray, Solomon Caulker, Patrick Massaquoi, Albert Jabatti Fortune, Francis Alimamy Sesay and Charles Eric Wilhelm were before Magistrate Moody on one count of conspiracy to defraud contrary to law.
The particulars of offence stated that the accused persons on a date between 1st April and 12th July, 2017, at Bank of Sierra Leone, with intent to defraud the Government of Sierra Leone of its needed revenue, conspired with other persons unknown and facilitated the unofficial movement of the Leones and foreign currency (United States Dollars and British Pounds Sterling) out of the said Bank to the hand of private individuals by making false representation that the Bank was engaged in its normal auction exercise, knowing the same to be false.
The Defence team includes Lawyers C.F. Edward, M. E. H. Sesay, S. M. Sesay, M Dumbuya, H. M. Gevao, B. Pratt, A. K. Musa, P. T. Bear, J. Kapuwa, V. Lansana and O. S. Kamara, among others.
Meanwhile, lead Defence Lawyer, C.F. Edward, told journalists the procedure of the discharge and re-arrest was not done in a proper manner, stating that the ACC should not have arrested the accused persons within the precinct of the court.
“There is no warrant of arrest and it is not correct to arrest someone within the Law Court building,” he opined.