January 15, 2020
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Assistant Accountant at the Judiciary of Sierra Leone, Thomas Manie, has yesterday Tuesday 14th January, testified in the on-going Anti-Corruption matter involving erstwhile High Court Master and Registrar, Stephen Yayah Mansaray and three others.
The witness introduced himself to the presiding judge Simeon Alliue as Civil Servant at the Accountant General’s Department currently attached to the Finance Department of the Judiciary , noting that he started working in that department since 2015.
He told the court that he works in the capacity of Assistant Account and that his functions is to deputize the Principal Accountant, noting that he recalled making statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission and during the course of the statement he identified 61 cheques that were prepared and signed by former High Court Master and Registrar, Stephen Yayah Mansaray and others.
The witness however, identified all the cheques in court and read out the date they were signed and by whom they were singed.
He further that the judiciary supervised by officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission on 18th September 2019 conducted a search at the office of the High Court Master and Registrar, Stephen Yayah Mansaray.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed eighteen counts indictment against all accused to the High Court for allegedly misappropriating four hundred and sixty million, two hundred and sixty-eight thousand, and two hundred Leones (Le460, 268,200/00) from the Judiciary’s Master and Registrar Account, domiciled at the Bank of Sierra Leone.
The Commission’s Prosecutor Joel Tejan Deen-Tarawalie alleges that Stephen Yayah Mansaray former High Court Master and Registrar, Richie Edwin Asgil, former Principal Accountant in the Judiciary; Adele Faya, former Account Clerk of the Judiciary; and Clarence Solomon Will, Assistant at a Law Firm in Freetown, misappropriated Public Funds, contrary to Section 36(1); and conspired to commit a corruption offence, contrary to Section 128(1) of the ACC Act 2008.
The prosecution also alleges that Stephen Yayah Mansaray and Richie Edwin Asgil were signatories to the Judiciary’s Master and Registrar’s account and on diverse dates, between June 2014 and May 2018, both accused, conspired with others to sign a number of cheques through which they authorised the withdrawal of funds from the aforementioned account for their personal benefit or for other unjustified purposes.
The commission further alleges that Adele Faya instructed the encashment of various cheques from the same account, and misappropriated the monies, while his co accused Solomon Will, between 25th April, 2018, and 14th March, 2019, allegedly conspired with unknown persons, to misappropriate public funds by illegally facilitating the encashment of cheques from the Judiciary’s account.