December 15, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Justice Sengu Koroma presiding at the Freetown High Court yesterday 14th December, 2017, sent to jail one Abdul Akim Koroma, alias Borboh for E-Mot, at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road in Freetown for allegedly falsely obtaining money amounting to Twenty Million Leones from market women to facilitate loan for them at State House.
The accused, who has already spent at least one year nine months in prison, is presently standing trial at the High Court on fourteen count related charges of obtaining money by false presence contrary to Section 32 (1) of the Larceny Act, 1916.
The State Prosecutor, L.O.R.D Jones, is alleging that the accused in October, 2015, in Freetown, obtained the sum of twenty million Leones from different petty traders by falsely pretending that he will help them secure a soft loan from government through President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, knowing same to be false.
The matter was preliminary investigated and committed to the High Court on Friday, 10 June, 2016, for trial by the then Magistrate Dr. Abou Bhakarr Binneh Kamara, with no bail.
It could be recalled that during the preliminary investigation at the lower court, Chairlady of the Petty Traders, Mammy Hawa Kamara, who was also one of the complainants in the matter, had testified that she recognised the accused and had known him for several years.
She described the accused as a State House employee that had been assisting them in diverse ways.
She testified that the accused had led them to State House so that they could meet with President Koroma on a burning issue that had to do with the destruction of their market stalls by Freetown City Council officers.
According to the witness, everything went on well as their market stalls were then repaired and since then they had built that trust and confidence in the accused person.
The witness said she recalled in October, 2015, when the accused approached her organisation and intimated them of a ‘United Nations’ soft loan for market women through State House.
She said the accused then demanded the sum of ten million Leones from them, as according to him, to print T-Shirts and banners which they the market women will wear to sing and dance for the President at State House in order to be able to receive the loan.
However, Lawyer O.C Spencer Coker of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board, yesterday applied for bail for and on behalf of the accused person, stating that the accused was not flight risk and that he has reliable sureties ready to stand for him.
According to Justice Koroma, the matter is very serious considering the fact that complaints against the accused was made by several women and that he was going to consider the bail application made by O.C Spencer Coker of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board on the next adjournment date.
Matter was adjourned to 8th January, 2018.