By Musa Paul Feika
Chief Martin Gibao, Mende tribal head in Kingtom, has testified before Magistrate Hannah Bonnie of Pademba Road Court No.1 in a matter involving three accused: Abdulai Massaquoi, Ahmed Rahman Conteh and Jurku Raphel.
The three, who reportedly defrauded John Thomas five thousand leones (Le5,000), using the name of the First Lady (Fatima Bio) as pretext.
Chief Gibao told the court that he recognizes the 1st accused and could recall 9th November 2018. He continued that, on that fateful day, he was at his residence when the 1st accused (Mama G) surprisingly came to him and introduced herself as personnel of the Office of the First Lady.
According to Chief Gibao, Mama G told him that she had been mandated by the First Lady (Fatima Bio) to register individuals living in slum communities.
The witness continued that the 1st accused had tried to convince him to register, but he resisted. He furthered that the 1st accused later left his residence, adding that he immediately contacted the Office of the First Lady to confirm the activities of the accused.
According to him, the Office of the First Lady had vehemently debunked the activities of the accused. The witness stated that he had also contacted Sergeant Macfoy, and informed him about the incident. This led to the accused being apprehended alongside two others.
Mustapha Kamara, a resident of Kroobay community and also a witness, informed the court that he recognises all the accused in the matter, and could recall the date in question, wherein the 1st accused had told him that they were from the Office of the First Lady and that they were charged with the responsibility of registering all slum dwellers.
The 1st accused, according to the witness, registered him and his wife and demanded five thousand leones (5,000) from each of them.
The accused are before the court on three count charges of fraudulent conversion, which are all contrary to law.
The Police charge sheet indicates that Jurku Raphel (Mama G), Abdulai Massaquio and Ahmed Raman Conteh, on the 9th November 2018, at Kingtom Bridge, conspired together with unknown persons to defraud John Thomas the sum of five thousand leones (Le5,000).
The accused is still on bail and the matter was adjourned to the 21st June 2019.
By Musa Paul Feika