By Jeneba A Conteh
Two surveyors, who identified themselves as Alusine Sesay and Alicious Kamara yesterday made another appearance before the principal Magistrate of the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1, Mark Ngegba.
They were arraigned before the court on a count charge of conspiracy and five count counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, contrary to law.
Police alleged that the accused on different dates from July to December 2020 in Freetown, conspired together to commit a felony to wit obtaining money by false pretences.
Police further alleged that the accused obtained two hundred and forty million Leones from Marcella Jones with the pretext that they had four acres of land for sale at No2 River, Peninsular Road in Freetown, knowing same to be false.
After the charges were read and explained to the accused person, no plea was taken.
In her evidence, Marcella Jones recognised both accused and that they were introduced to her by her husband, Richard Jones.
The witness further testified that on the said dates, herself, her husband and the second accused (Alicious) were driving along the Peninsula area when the second accused told her and her husband that he knew a friend, who had a plot of land along No.2 River for sale.
She said immediately she got that information she called her cousin, who stays in the United States and informed her about the said land.
Madam Jones said they went to the said land and that her cousin was happy and asked about the cost of the land.
She said Alicious told them that, his friend was selling the land at the cost of six hundred million Leones and that they tried to negotiate the price with him, but he told them to meet the owner of the land.
The witness further testified that herself, her husband and the second accused went to the owner of the land-the first accused Alusine, and that they inquired into how acquired the said land.
She testified that the accused told them that the land was given to him as a gift and that he was selling it because he wanted to settle some issues.
Madam Jones further testified that they then drove to her office at Charlotte Street where she handed over two hundred and forty million Leones to the accused, who in return provided her with a receipt.
The receipt was tendered in court to form part of the prosecution’s case.
The witness said she later gave the accused another one hundred and twenty million Leones at the German Embassy, which was the second payment for the said land.
The receipt for the second payment was also produced and tendered in court to form part of the court records.
The witness testified that her cousin came to Freetown and that they went to the land to put up a structure when the community people chased them away.
She said they immediately called the accused who gave them a lot of excuses and that she immediately went to the Ministry of Lands and reported the matter.
She said the accused were invited but that they didn’t show up and that an arrest warrant was issued against them.
She said since then she neither received her money nor the land given to her, adding that she made statement at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters.
Cross examination was done by the accused since they were unrepresented in court.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Ngegba refused bail and adjourned the matter to the 15 February 2023 for further hearing.