OCTOBER 31, 2014 By Hawa Amara
A US$16,000 fraud case involving one Sahid Conteh was yesterday committed to the High Court by Magistrate Komba Kamanda after the lower court proved in a preliminary investigation that the accused had defrauded a Chinese, Yang Qing, of the said amount by falsely pretending to have a house to rent.
While summarising witnesses’ testimonies, Magistrate Kamanda stated that Mr. Yang had told the court that the accused showed him a house at Nylender Street, Aberdeen, West of Freetown, which he said was for rent.
The magistrate said the witness testified that the accused requested the sum of US$16,000 for two years rent, plus an additional fee of US$1,500 for a lawyer, which the complainant gave to him.
The magistrate further stated that the complainant told the court that the accused took him to a house which was already occupied, and that the owner of the house reported the complainant to the police for illegal entering.
He noted that Mr. Yang’s testimony was corroborated by another prosecution witness, thus stating that the evidence before the court was both sufficient and overwhelming to warrant a committal of the matter to the High Court for trial.
The accused took a plea of ‘not guilty’ and informed the court about his wish to call witnesses to testify on his behalf at the High Court.
Defence counsel D. Fofanah applied for bail on behalf of the accused person, citing Section 120(1)(32) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965, but the magistrate refused, referring to the accused as a ‘classical 419er’ who discourage investors from coming to Sierra Leone.