Le4.5bn bail in US$800,000 scam case


September 29, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Justice Miatta Samba, presiding at the Freetown High Court, yesterday ordered that one Mohamed Osman Sesay be admitted to bail to the tune of Le4.5 billion.

Sesay was arraigned in court by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to answer to eight counts of corruption offences ranging from conspiracy to commit corruption to deceiving, contrary to anti-graft laws, amounting to a whopping sum of US$800,000.

Having listened to the bail application by defence counsel Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, and counter-submission by ACC prosecutor Ade Macauley, the judge ruled in favour of the defence thus granting bail to the accused in the aforementioned sum, plus two sureties, each being a resident owner of property in Freetown with a validation title deed.

The ACC prosecutor alleged that the accused persons conspired with other persons to commit corruption offences contrary to section 128 of the ACC Act of 2008.

He also alleged that on diverse dates between May and July 2015, being an agent, the accused conspired to deceive one Dominic Anselm Joseph Beary, Director of Network Proximity Sierra Leone Limited, to pay US$100,000 purportedly as fees for international gateway license. Monies were also paid by Beary to the accused person for various purposes, totaling US$ 800,000, according to the prosecutor.

The ACC prosecutor further alleged that the accused person, with intent to deceive, served various letters to Beary purportedly signed by the Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, his deputy Theo Nicol, and the Director of Communication in the same ministry. Other letters the accused sent to Beary were also purportedly signed by the Chairman of the National Telecommunication Commission, Momoh Konte.

Testifying earlier, prosecution witness Thomas T. Kanu identified himself as an investigative officer in the investigating department of the Anti-Corruption Commission. He said he knew the accused and that he recalled 25 August, 2015 when Dominic Anselm Joseph Beary and a certain John Mason reported the matter to the ACC and was assigned to him for investigation.

Kanu said on the same day he led a team of investigators, including detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department, to arrest the accused and execute a search warrant at his home.

While reading in court a statement he had obtained from the accused, the witness said the latter told investigators he was a businessman, aged 44, and that he had first met the complainant on 1 April, 2014.

He said he had presented some bank documents to the accused which the latter admitted knowledge of, and that further enquiries about the said documents at the Rokel Commercial Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and First International Bank, elicited replies addressed to the ACC Commissioner.

However, defence counsel Abdulai objected to the tendering of the documents on the grounds that the witness was not the one who produced them, and that they were not addressed to him but the Commissioner of the ACC, thus certain questions he would want to ask about the documents could not be answered by the witness.

In his reply, prosecutor Macauley said the witness had already identified himself as the investigating officer, which means the documents have been in his possession and that the ACC Commissioner would not come to court just to tender the documents.

The judge therefore ruled that the documents can be tendered by the witness.

She adjourned the matter for today when the witness is expected to complete his testimony.