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SOS accountant remanded

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 By Hawa Amara

One Amadu Maxwell Turay, who is the Deputy Accountant at the Social Organization Society (S0S), was yesterday remanded at the Pademba Road maximum security prison for alleged fraud.

Turay, prosecutors say, fraudulently withdrew the sum of Le155 million from the SOS account No. 01-00101260404 at the Standard Chartered Bank.

The accused was arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on 30 counts of forgery, obtaining money by way of forged document, uttering document contrary to Section 1 of the Forgery Act of 1913, larceny by servant contrary to Section 17 (1)(a) of the Larceny Act of 1916, and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 32(1) of the Larceny Act 1916.

The prosecution alleges that the accused, on 27th December, 2013, with intent to defraud, forged a letter of transfer of fund in respect of the sum of Le50 million, purporting same to have been signed and issued by Olatungi E.E. Woode, National Director of SOS.

The prosecution further stated that the accused on the same date, with intent to defraud, did purport to show that a transfer of the said amount had been authorized by the SOS office in Freetown.

The prosecution said that the accused on the same date stole Le50 million from SOS account No. 01-00101260404 while in the custody of Standard Chartered Bank.

The accused, on 26th February, 2014, again allegedly forged a letter to transfer Le65 million, purportedly authorized by the SOS national office, to Turay Maxwell Enterprises and General Merchandise, knowing same to be false.

Testifying in court, SOS Chief Accountant, Jane Brown, who is the first prosecution witness, told the court that her duty includes supervising the entire account department and that she recognizes the accused as ‘Deputy Chief Accountant’.

She explained that on 12th August, 2014, she was checking the debit advice that was collected from the accused but could not ascertain some of the advices in the document, which pertains to Maxwell Turay and General Merchandise Enterprise.

“I then took the document to the complainant and asked whether he was aware of it. The complainant then ordered me to go and fact-check it at Standard Chartered Bank. On the 13th August, I went to the bank and showed them the debit advice. They promised to find out and later got on to me. The complainant then informed me that the Maxwell Turay General Merchandise belongs to the accused,” Brown explained.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant 5984 Fofanah I.G., asked for an adjournment to enable the witness tender the exhibit, and applied for bail to be denied the accused.

Defence counsel Segepor S. Thomas objected to the prosecution’s application, noting that they should have prepared the exhibit before leading the witness in evidence.

He also applied for bail on behalf of the accused person, noting that he is not a flight risk and would not interfere with prosecution witnesses if granted bail.

However, Magistrate Kamanda overruled the defence’s objection and refused the accused bail.

The hearing was adjourned to 12th September.