June 13, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
One Abdul Akim Koroma, who allegedly conned unsuspecting petty traders, has had his case committed to the High Court for trial by Magistrate Dr. Abou Bhakarr Binneh M. Kamara last Friday, 10 June, 2016.
Magistrate Dr. Binneh M. Kamara was charged with determining whether or not Koroma has a case to answer in a preliminary investigation into 14 counts charges for allegedly taking Le20 million from petty traders at the Montague Street Market Women’s Organisation, through their leader Mammy Hawa Kamara, on the pretext of providing them with Microcredit loans from State House.
The accused was charged with obtaining money by false pretense, contrary to section 32(1) of the Larceny Act of 1916.
According to the prosecution, the accused on diverse dates between 1st and 31st October, 2015 obtained monies from various market women, including Hawa Kamara, chairlady of the market, on the pretext of assisting them secure loans from the Government of Sierra Leone through President Ernest Bai Koroma, knowing same to be false.
Testifying prior to the committal, Detective Police Constable DPC 9796 James S. Samia, attached to the Economic and Financial Fraud Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Freetown, said he knew both the complainants and the accused.
He recalled that on March 25th, 2016 Detective Police Constable 1075 Bangura D. S. and DPC 10476 Kamara I. S. arrested the accused, with the aid of the complainants, and brought him to the CID for interrogation in connection to a case of obtaining money by false pretense.
He said with the assistance of his colleagues, they obtained statement from the accused, read same to him, which content he confirmed was true and correct, before appending his signature to it.
The witness told that the court that he later charged the accused to court with the offence of obtaining money by false pretense.
Meanwhile, State House is yet to issue any statement distancing the presidency from the alleged scam or disowning the accused as a presidential aide.