Indian Investor ‘impressed and satisfied with the judgement’
June 18, 2018
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Mohamed Malik Sariq, an Indian investor who was duped over US$698,980 by Mohamed M’baqui, has in an exclusive interview with Concord Times expressed satisfaction with the verdict of the High Court, presided over by Justice Alusine Sesay.
In 2013 Mohamed M’baqui and one Mohamed Mansaray were indicted on 86 counts ranging from conspiracy, defraud, false imprisonment and attempted murder of Mohamed Malik Sariq.
The matter took almost five years in court after going through the magistrate court for preliminary investigation and committal to the High Court.
The case was initially assigned to Nigerian Judge M.A. Paul before it was later re-signed to Justice Alusine Sesay, who completed it in June 2018.
Justice Alusine Sesay sentenced M’baqui and his co-accused on Thursday 7th June, with first accused Mohamed M’baqui slammed eight years imprisonment for the offense of attempted murder and to refund the sum of US$698,980 he had swindled the Indian investor. The judge also ordered the convict to compensate the complainant the sum of Le150 million, approximately US$20,000.
Speaking to Concord Times at his Lumley residence, Mohamed Malik Sariq reiterated that he was very much impressed with the justice system of Sierra Leone, and that he was satisfied with the judgement delivered on his behalf by Justice Sesay.
He noted, however that, ‘The Sierra Leone government has to put strong laws in place to be punishing people who are duping investors because their act would not encourage investors to come into the country.’
Sariq further expressed that although the matter took long in court to be adjudicated, there were certain reasonable reasons responsible for the delay. He cited the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease which forced the first judge to leave the country with Justice Sesay having to restart the matter.
He said the delay in concluding the matter affected him greatly because he had to stay in the country doing no business and spending on accommodation, feeding, transportation and other things, admitting that he at some point got frustrated.
The Indian investor told our reporter that when the matter started initially, he was faced with some serious challenges as his life was threatened on several occasions by some people who told him to leave the country or he would be killed.
He added that he was beaten up and almost stabbed by some unknown youth around Lumley, before the police came to his rescue.
He revealed that a purported family member of Mohamed M’baqui had invited him to a meeting while some people who posed as court officers served him with a summons paper indicating that he had to pay the convict approximately US$1 million, thus urging him to sign the fictitious document, abandon the court matter and return to his country.
“After all the intimidations, threats and beat, I decided not to leave my money and go because I knew it was genuine and I had come to invest it in good faith. So I made up my mind that I will stay till the end of the court matter,” said Sariq in a defiant yet triumphant mood.
“My last word is that I am encouraging investors to come into Sierra Leone to invest. Honestly, I was not expecting the judgement in my favour like other countries will do to investors but the ruling is a clear manifestation that there is justice in this country and investors are protected from bad people,” he said.