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1.3billion theft at Zenith Bank …Accused granted Le 500M bail

November 10, 2021

By Jeneba A Conteh

Juliet Nazal was on Monday November 8, 2021, granted a bail in the sum of Five Hundred Million Leones with two sureties in like sum.

She was before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Pademba Road Court No 1 and remanded at the Female Correctional Centre for allegedly defrauding Samson Shallop the sum of One Billion Three hundred and Fourteen Million Leones (1,314,000,000)

According to count one on the police charges sheet, Nazal on Wednesday 13 October, 2021, at Zenith Bank Headquarters, Rawdon Street in Freetown, knowingly issued a Zenith Bank cheque on the same date with serial number 1474415 with face value of Le 1, 314,000,000) to complainant Samson Shallop against insufficient fund.

In count two, the accused on that same date and place issued a cheque to the complainant with face value One Hundred and Sixty Two Million Leones (Le 162,000,000) to the complainant against insufficient fund.

In count three, the accused was alleged to have prepared and endorsed deposit slip with serial number 2487321 with face value  One Billion Three Hundred and Fourteen Million Leones (Le 1,314,000,000) that the same had been paid to an account number 6010181380 knowing same to be false.

Count four indicates that, the accused induced Dauda Soriba Kamara to prepare slip with serial number 2487319 with face value of One Billion Three Hundred and Fourteen Million Leones to an account number 6010120551, knowing same to be false.

After the charges were read on the last adjourned date, State Prosecutor Juan Bull informed the court that her witness was present, but cannot go on because she had filed an affidavit in support of denying bail for the accused.

Defense counsel I.F Sawaneh applied for bail on behalf of his client, citing Section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act No 32 of 1965. 

He said bail is the discretion of the Bench and that “I am canvasing the discretion of the magistrate on behalf of my client.”

Having heard the application for bail and the affidavit filed by the state thereof, Magistrate Kekura noted that the defense counsel cited the wrong application.

Based on the seriousness of the offense, he refused the accused bail and adjourned the matter to the 4th of November, 2021 for hearings to commence.

The matter, which was supposed to come up on the 4th of November 2021 did not proceed because of the fracas that took place at the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Shortly after the matter was mentioned, state counsel Juan Bull informed the court that she was not going on because her witness was absent.

She promised to dock her first witness on the next adjourned date.

In that light, defense counsel HM Gevao renewed his bail application on behalf of the accused.

He said the accused is not before the court neither for treason nor for murder, and if granted bail will not be a flight risk. He said the accused has permanent residence with reliable persons to stand as sureties and assured her appearance in court.

Responding to the defense counsel, state counsel Juan Bull opposed to the bail application for the accused. She said the matter is serious with an allegation of over One Billion Leones. State counsel Juan Bull also stated that the  quantum involved is huge and that she will do all she can to prosecute the matter. 

After listening to both sides, Magaistrate Sahr Kekura granted the accused bail in the sum of Five Hundred Million Leones with two sureties in like sum. The sureties should be title owners, employed in recognized institutions.

Magistrate Sahr Kekura further stated that the sureties should produce their National Identification Cards depicting their address and that the bail should be approved by the Deputy Acting Registrar.

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