By Jane B. Mansaray.
The former head of teller at the Eco-Bank branch on Wilkinson Road in Freetown, Mrs. Margret Michaella Goba yesterday appeared before Justice Reginald Fynn to testify in the 2017 Hajjgate corruption matter involving the former Vice President Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh and five others.
Led in evidence by ACC Prosecutor, Lawyer Calvin T. Mantsebo, the second prosecution witness, Mrs. Margret Michaella Goba said she recognized the first defendant, Mr. Sheku Sahid Kamara as a customer of the bank.
The prosecution witness told the court that she recalled 18th August 2017 when she last attended to the accused person during a banking transaction.
On the said date at about 3pm, the witness said the defendant together with his wife, Mrs. Ann Marie Kamara and one Abass came to the bank to deposit the sum of three hundred Million Leones.
Because of the huge sum of money, Madam Goba said she took the defendant to the bank bulk room and informed her supervisor of the huge amount of money meant to be deposited.
On instruction from the bank supervisor, the witness said she received the money in a “Ghana Mus Go” bag for counting and verification.
Upon receiving the money, Madam Goba added that the defendant asked if it was possible to open a savings account apart from the existing current account at the bank.
Mr. Sheku Sahid Kamara was taken to the customer service office to respond to his question. The savings account was opened in the same name as in the current account (Sheku Sahid Kamara and Ann Marie Kamara).
According to Eco-Bank procedures, the defendant can access the new account requested to be opened but was assured to be accessed on the following date.
On the 21st August 2017, the witness said she received a mail from the bank head office in Freetown, that the bank account is accessible. After going through the mail, the sum of two hundred and fifty Million Leones was immediately transferred to the newly created account on behalf of the defendant.
Relevant document to the hearings including a cash deposit of Three hundred Million Leones and cash transfer of two hundred and fifty Million Leones slip dated and signed by the defendant and statement of accounts were produced and tendered in court as exhibits.
On request of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) through a letter sent to the bank, the above sum was later transferred into the Ministry of Social Welfare account.
The defendants including Sheku Sahid Kamara, Victor Bockarie Foh, Alhaji Minkailu Bah, Mohamed Alie Bah, Ibrahim Fakeh Conteh and Abu Bakarr Carew are answering to eight counts criminal related indictment ranging from conspiracy to commit a corruption offence to misappropriation of public funds contrary to Law.
According to the particulars on the indictment, the defendants on a date between the 1st January and 30th September 2017 in Freetown, being senior members and supervisor of the 2017 Hajj National Coordinating Committee, conspired together to engage and did under take a project without prior planning and at the same time misappropriated the sum of Three Hundred Million Leones, funds donated to the then All People’s Congress (APC) Party led government of former President Ernest Bai Koroma for the benefit of Sierra Leoneans intending to perform the 2017 Hajj.
The matter was adjourned to 12th October, 2018 for further hearing.
Disabled Testifies In Murder Trial
By Fatmata Gbla.
Prosecution witness Fengai Komba, a disabled “coal pot” mechanic yesterday testified before Magistrate Santigie Bangura in an alleged murder matter involving Aminata Bangura.
The witness he said he recognized the accused person, Aminata Bangura and the deceased and also recalled 18th August 2018.
On that day the witness told the court that he was heading to his bedroom when an element hit him on his head and when he turned to see where it came from he saw both the accused person and deceased fighting.
Whilst they were fighting they tried to separate both parties but the deceased kicked the accused person on the stomach and the accused person stabbed him with a knife which caused the accused to start bleeding seriously.
At the scene, a guy called Temperature came and assisted the deceased to the hospital and said that he later got information that the deceased was dead. The accused person was arraigned on one count of murder contrary to law.
According to the particulars of offence Aminata Bangura on 18th August 2018 at Pademba Road, Burn Ose, PWD Compound allegedly murdered Bockarie Kargbo with a black knife.
The matter was adjourned for further hearing