By Jane B. Mansaray.
High Court Judge, Justice Miatta Samba yesterday agreed to probe into the NASSIT corruption case against the former Director General, Mr. Joseph Saidu Mans and Yeabu Kamara by judge alone, instead of by judge and juror.
The decision was granted by the said Judge based on an application made by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Prosecution Lawyer, Calvin T. Mantesbo.
Lawyer Mantesbo further appealed with the Presiding Judge for another adjourned date, while he took personal responsibility for the delay in the trial.
This, according to Lawyer Mantesbo is due to difficulties of documentation of which witnesses who have to testify are yet to be produced before the court. He furthered that it is the intention of the prosecution to produce all documents relating to the matter for the trial to commence proper.
The Director General of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust, Joseph Saidu Mans and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Yeabu Kamara have been arraigned before Justice Miatta Samba on corruption charges relating to the construction and supply of medical services to Sierra Leone.
The two defendants including Joseph Saidu Mans and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees at NASSIT, Madam Yeabu Kamara were charged with six count indictments, ranging from engaging in a project without prior planning, conspiracy to commit corruption charges, wilfully failing to comply with the law relating to the tendering of contract and misappropriation of public funds, contrary to ACC Act of 2008.
The particulars on the indictment alleged that the defendants on dates unknown between 1st August 2016 and 31st December 2017 conspired with other persons unknown to commit corruption offences, to wit, engaging in a project without prior planning, contrary to section 128 sub-sections (1) of the ACC Act No. 12 of 2008.
It is alleged further that the first and second defendants being the former Director General and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of NASSIT and being persons whose functions concern the administration, management and use of public funds on the same date above, engaged in a project without prior planning to wit. engaged in a project with SISIMI MEDICAL FOUNDATION Inc, for the development, construction and delivery of an urgent care delivery service system for the provision of quality medical service in Sierra Leone, without prior planning.
The defendant also wilfully failed to comply with the law relating to tendering of contract, to wit the provision of the Public Procurement Act 2016 by entering into a joint venture agreement with SISIMI MEDICAL FOUNDATION Inc for the development, construction and delivery of an urgent care delivery system for the provision of quality medical services in Sierra Leone.
In Count Five, the defendants were alleged to have, on the 27th September 2016 in Freetown, misappropriated public funds to wit authorized and facilitated the disbursement and payment of the sum of Le 6,510,290,000,00 (Six Billion, Five Hundred and Ten Million ,Two Hundred and Ninety Thousand Leones) ,being the equivalent of (USD1,000,000.00) to SISIMI NASSIT MEDICAL PROJECT; a joint venture special project vehicle created for the provision of an urgent care delivery service system to provide quality medical services in Sierra Leone, thereby depriving NASSIT of the said amount.
The defendants who pleaded not guilty to the indictments made their first appearance and were granted bail in the sum of Five Hundred Million Leones each, with one surety each in like sum.
Justice Samba further ordered that they should provide title deeds equivalent to the bail sum together with their travelling documents to the Master and Registrar.
She further said they should communicate with the court whenever they want to travel out of the county until the matter is heard.
Justice Samba has agreed for the prosecution to serve all documents relating to the matter not later than Friday 1st February 2019.
Batteries of Lawyer including L. Taylor, Y.I. Yillah and A. Sillah are defending the accused persons. The matter has been adjourned to the 13th February 2019.
Highway Robbers face Trial for Le 74m
Josephine K. Tarawaelie
Magistrate Santigie Bangura of Freetown Magistrate Court No. 1 yesterday remanded Alfred Alimamy Kargbo alias T.S. and seven others at the Pademba Road Male Correctional Centre for conspiracy, contrary to law. The accused persons were charged with ten count charges of robbery with aggravation, contrary to law.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused persons on dates unknown, between 10th October, 2018 and 15th October, 2018 at Waterloo, in the Waterloo headquarters Judicial district, conspired together and with other persons unknown to commit a felony.
Count two relates to robbery with aggravation, contrary to Section 23(1) of the Larceny Act 1916 as repealed and replaced by section 2 of Act No. 16 of 1971. The particulars of offence state that, the accused persons on the above date at 73 Masiaka Highway, Five Mile – Newton in the Waterloo headquarters Judicial district in the Western area of the Republic of Sierra Leone, being armed with cutlasses ,robbed Andreas Altenhof Five Thousand, Three Hundred Euros (€5,300), equivalent to Fifty-One Million Leones (Le51,000.000.00), Seventeen Million Leones (Le17,000,000.00), one M16 black mobile phone valued at Four Hundred and Fifty Fifty Euros (€450), equivalent to Four Million Three Hundred Thousand Leones (Le4,300,000.00) and one silver color Lenovo laptop computer, valued aTwo Million Leones (Le2,000,000.00). All the alleged stolen properties valued at Seventy Four Million, Three Hundred Thousand Leones (Le 74,300,000.00) being property of the said Andreas Altenhof.
Lawyer M.Y.Kanu who is representing the accused persons told Magistrate Bangura that since the matter has been brought to court, the prosecutor has presented only a formal witness, adding that the liberty of the accused persons are at stake. He further asked the Magistrate to discharge the matter from court. The matter has been adjourned to the 6th February, 2019 for further hearings.