Engineer faces court charges for alleged land fraud

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By Mohamed J Kargbo

Abubakarr Barry, an engineer, appeared before Magistrate Santigie Bangura of Court No. 2 on Pademba Road in Freetown, facing four charges of obtaining money by false pretenses under Section 32(1) of the Larceny Act 1916.

The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred on various dates in 2022. Barry is accused of deceiving individuals into believing he owned six plots of land in Banga Farm, Sussex, Freetown, and fraudulently obtaining sums of money from them for the sale of these non-existent properties.

During the proceedings, Barry pleaded not guilty to all charges. The prosecution, led by Sergeant 9155 Dwight Macarthy, presented its first witness, Mamoud Yurailie Sesay, who testified to the alleged fraudulent transactions between himself and Barry.

Sesay recounted entering into an agreement with Barry to purchase land, for which he paid a substantial sum. He provided evidence of the transactions, including receipts issued by Barry. Following Sesay’s testimony, the prosecution requested a short adjournment.

In response, Ibrahim Turay, representing Barry, applied for bail on behalf of his client.

Turay emphasised Barry’s residency in Sierra Leone and presented reliable sureties willing to vouch for him. He assured the court that Barry would not interfere with witnesses or attempt to flee.

Magistrate Bangura granted bail to Barry under certain conditions. Barry was required to surrender his title deeds to the court and provide four sureties, each liable for a significant sum. Additionally, Barry was prohibited from leaving the jurisdiction without court approval.

The matter was adjourned to March 21, 2024, for further proceedings.

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