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Central Bank staff accused of fraud collapsed in court

August 31, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura 

One of the accused persons in the ongoing Bank of Sierra Leone fraud matter, Rebecca Kosonikeh Fuller, yesterday (Wednesday 30th August, 2017) collapsed in the dock while the first prosecution witness (PW1) testified against them.

Fuller, together with ten accused persons are preliminarily being investigated in the lower court on allegations of conspiracy to defraud contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

She collapsed after PW1, Ibrahim Bah, told the court that he recognised all the accused persons with the exception of the fourth, eighth, and tenth.

Although he identified himself as a businessman, the witness refused to disclose his address because of security reasons.

He told the court that he knew all the accused persons through the first accused, Cecilia Fatola Annie Ben-Carew.

She was resuscitated in the courtroom and told the Bench after gaining consciousness that, she hadn’t eaten since that morning.

It was at that juncture that the lead defence counsel, H. M. Gevao, applied for bail to be granted the accused persons on the grounds that the fourth accused was ill, stressing that they should be put on bail to avoid reoccurrences.

However, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Samuel Kamara, objected to the bail application, stating that the fourth accused person did not tell the court that she was sick.

He said the accused person only told the court that she hadn’t eaten since that morning, which, he argued, had apparently led to the collapse. He added that if the accused person was sick, the Correctional Centre has adequate medical service.

State Prosecutor, Lawyer R Gidwani, vehemently objected to bail, stating that the claims of the defense lawyers were baseless, insufficient and unreasonable, and that the offence allegedly committed by the accused persons was very serious.

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, 2017 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 including Lawyer 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, the accused persons were denied bail and remanded for the third time at the Male and Female correctional centres, respectively.

The matter has been adjourned to 6th September, 2017.