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‘Kamarianba was not at Diamond Lodge on February 14’

-Manager testifies

August 12, 2021

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma 

Tamba Erick Fomba, who is the Manager of Diamond Lodge Hotel,  on Tuesday testified in court  that, he was on duty on February 14th  2020,but  didn’t see the first accused in his hotel on that day.

He told the court that he cross checked from the reception ledger book as part of his duty, but didn’t see the name of the first accused, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray.

He emphasised that he had never set eyes on the first accused in his hotel since he started working there as a manager in January, 2020.

Led in evidence by Lawyer Amadu Koroma, the witness told the court presided over by Justice Samueal Omodale Taylor that, he is a former Councillor in Kono.

“I know the first accused, Mohamed Kamarianba Mansaray, as a politician, but I neither saw him in my hotel on February 14th nor any other time,” he testified. 

Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray and a co-defendant, Marion Aruni, are charged with several child sexual abuse crimes – including conspiracy.

The state alleges that on February 14, 2020, Valentine’s Day, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray conspired with Aruni and had sexual intercourse with the then 15-year-old secondary school girl.

Fomba said his duties include the day –to-day running of the Hotel, and that he is also in care of all the staff, looks over the welfare of all the guests at the hotel and also supervises the security in the 42- room hotel. 

He said the whole hotel is fenced with only one main gate through which vehicles ply in and out, and  that the gate is manned by an Operational Support Division Office (OSD).

He said before gaining access into the hotel compound, the officer at the gate will question purposes before granting the individual access and then direct the person to the reception. 

He said at the reception, the person who wants to book a room will have to fill a form with his or her details after which a room will be allocated to him or her. 

The witness tendered a blank copy sample of the form a customer could fill before a room is allocated.

He said after taking the guest to the room allocated, the receptionist will transfer all the information of the guest in a guest form into the hotel’s ledger book.

He said all the keys to the hotel rooms are in a cupboard at the reception and that they are only accessible by the receptionist on duty at a particular time, with all duplicates of the keys place in the custody of the manager. 

He said it is not possible for someone who is not a receptionist to have access to the keys.

He said sometimes in May he was invited to the Tankoro Family Support Unit at the Tankoro Police Station regarding a child abuse matter that had to do with the first accused. 

He said in July, officers from the Family Support Unit in Freetown went to Kono and re-invited him to make a fresh statement.

He said he was arrested and detained in police cell for four days and on the fifth day, he was brought to the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Freetown.

During cross examination, the State Prosecutor, Umu Sumaray, tendered the statement of the witness for identification and the witness confirmed it to be his.

The prosecutor read page three of the witness’ statement, a portion where he had told the police that he was not the manager at the hotel between January to March.

The witness responded by confirming it to be true and that he indeed told the police so. 

The prosecution also said the witness had told the police that he started working at the hotel in April and that he couldn’t tell what happened in the hotel because at the time he was not working for the hotel. 

The witness also admitted to have told the police so.

Trial continues. 

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