Alhaji gets High Court committal
December 8, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Magistrate Komba Kamanda, presiding at the Magistrates’ Court No.2 in Freetown, yesterday ruled that the accused Alhaji Umaru Bah has a case to answer in respect of the sum of Le.254 million (two hundred and fifty four million Leones) which he is alleged to have been fraudulently obtained from Chernor S. Jahkitay, thus committing the matter to the High Court for further trial.
The accused had been arraigned in the court on five counts of obtaining money by false pretences and larceny, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution, led by Sergeant 5984 Isatu Gbassay Fofana, said the accused initially collected the sum of Le.20 million from the complainant under the pretext of a proposed fake investment in early 2014.
On the 2nd count, the prosecutor alleged that the accused took the sum of Le.40 million from the complainant around September 2014 purporting to have invested the money into a business deal, which was a lie.
“In count three and four the accused received the sum of Le.80 million from the complainant and on the fifth count between January to March 2015 swindled the sum of Le.112 million from the same person,” the prosecutor alleged.
In his ruling, Magistrate Kamanda recalled that the accused had been arraigned on five counts of obtaining money by false pretences, adding that the prosecution relied on the evidence of five witnesses.
He said the testimony of the first prosecution witness, the complainant, explained the entirety of the fraudulent transactions.
Magistrate Kamanda said the complainant’s testimony clearly indicated that the accused lied on several occasions, and that the latter purported to be a business partner with Africa Minerals Sierra Limited (AML) which prompted the complainant to give him money.
“The accused also lied to the complainant that he has the sum of Le.800 million at the Bank of Sierra Leone and which was incorrect when crosschecked. The conduct of the accused shows that he was a complete 419er,” Kamanda maintained.
When asked whether he (accused) wished to testify in the High Court, he said he had nothing to explain because he was not guilty of the allegations levied against and declined to call any witness.
Meanwhile, the magistrate said that because of the nature and seriousness of the offences charged, the accused should be remanded in custody pending trial in the High Court.