July 22, 2016 By Hawa Amara
One Bobson Frederick Amara was yesterday remanded at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown for allegedly pretending to be Paramount Chief Kingibomeh Nyandebok II of Taymidae Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, while attempting to obtain solar energy panel from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), by purporting to have established a maternity hospital in the chiefdom.
The accused was arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, presided over by Magistrate Albert J. Moody, on eight counts of forgery, uttering, attempting to defraud and impersonation, contrary law.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused on 29th May, 2016 at the DFID office on Spur Road in Freetown, with intent to defraud, forged a letter purported to have been prepared and signed by Paramount Chief Kingibomeh Nyandebok II of Taymidae Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, knowing same to be false.
The prosecutor also alleges that the accused on 12th June, 2016 at the Sierra Leone Opportunities for Business Action (SOBA), 6 Maze Street, with intent to defraud forged a letterhead purported to have been prepared and signed by the Paramount Chief.
In his testimony, a consultant for SOBA, Chukwu Emeka Chikezie, said on 29th May, 2016 he received an e-mail from one Richard Rose informing him that he had met Paramount Chief Kingibomeh Nyandebok II of Taymidae Chiefdom who needed solar lights for his chiefdom.
He said the accused later came to their office and booked an appointment for a meeting.
The witness continues that on 10th June, 2016 he received a phone call from one of his colleagues, who informed him that the accused had visited the office and introduced himself as Paramount Chief of Taymidae Chiefdom.
He said a meeting was held between his colleague and the accused, with the latter asked to provide some relevant information about himself.
He said the accused told him that he studied medicine in Germany and returned to Sierra Leone in 2005 and contested and won the paramount chieftaincy election, adding that returned to Germany to complete his studies and finally returned to Sierra Leone in 2007 to take up office.
Chikezie said the accused then told him that in 2011 some Ghanaian medical doctors brought medical equipment for the said maternal hospital.
He said the accused informed them that in 2015 four solar panels were stolen from the hospital and that the facility was faced with electricity problem as a result.
“I explained to him that since we are working with private sectors we will incorporate chiefdoms and assess how to sell the solar panel. The solar team agreed to take an economic profile of the accused. The profile was prepared and the accused was introduced to other stakeholders,” said the witness.
He added: “I got a bit suspicious of the accused. I reviewed the list of the Paramount Chiefs in the country and found out that the name of the actual Paramount Chief was Chief Solognnii. His phone number was not on the list but I later got his numbers from a nearby chiefdom. When I called him and asked he told me he did not send anyone to our office.
“Upon that information I called AIG Al-Sheik Kamara and informed hima bout the incident. He promised to send some CID officers to investigate the matter.”
He said that on 12thJune, the accused called and informed him that he had a letter for him and that on 14th June, AIG Al-Sheik Kamara sent two officers to the office.
He said the accused subsequently arrived and confirmed certain information about the chiefdom and handed over the letter.
He said the letter was given to a staff to photocopy, while one of the CID officers interrogated the accused as to whether he was a Paramount Chief.
He said the accused replied in the affirmative, but refused to respond when he was asked for the second time, before he was arrested.
The matter was adjourned to 29th July, 2016.