Parent Exposes Hammond International Acting Principal

By Musa Paul Feika

Police prosecution witness, Marion Bangura, has told the court that she paid one million one hundred and sixty thousand leones as a school fees to the accused, Bobson Frederick Amara, who also doubles as the Acting Principal of Hammond International Preparatory School, as fees for her child to take this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Mrs. Bangura made this disclosure during yesterday’s proceedings at the Ross Road Magistrate Court No. 1, which is presided over by Magistrate Alhaji Sulaiman Koroma.

The witness continued her testimony, stating that she recognized the accused as the Acting Principal of Hammond International Preparatory School situated at Old Road, Kissy in Freetown, as well as the complainant, Bernette Amara Cummings, who is one of the complainants in respect of the matter.

She said she could recall diverse dates between the 1st September 2019 and 26th January 2020.

The witness told the court that, on that fateful day, she went to the school to seek an admission for her child into the school. According to her, upon her arrival, she met the accused, adding that the accused introduced himself as the Acting Principal of the school. She added that the accused asked her to buy an admission form, valued at one hundred and fifty thousand leones (Le 150,000), which the witness said she did.

The witness said she filled the admission form and returned it to the accused, and paid one million one hundred and sixty thousand leones (Le1, 1060,000) to the accused as a school fees for her child.

The witness further testified that she later received school supplies from the accused on behalf of her child, Raymond Adalay French, noting that an identification card for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was given her child by the accused.

Mrs. Bangura detailed the court that one day she was at her work place in Freetown when she got information, from one of the parents that her child’s name was not in the school register.

She said, upon receiving the information, she went to the school where she met the Proprietress of Hammond International Preparatory School, Mrs. Cummings, who informed her that her child’s name was not in the school register.

She concluded her evidence noting that she immediately reported the matter to the Kissy Police Division in Freetown in respect of the matter.

The defense counsel, I.S.Y Kamara, representing the accused, during his cross examination, put a question to the witness that, the complainant’s child is currently taking the WASCE exam, and she responded in the affirmative.

The defense lawyer posed another question to the witness, that there was no agreement document between his client and her. The witness also responded in the affirmative.

The accused is standing trial on several counts charges of fraudulent conversion, embezzlement and other related offences, which are all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

According to the police file sheet, Bobson Frederick Amara, on diverse dates between 1st September and 26th January 2020, fraudulently converted one million one hundred and sixty thousand leones (Le 1,160,000) from the complainant, money meant as a school fees for her child, Raymond Adalay French.

The police file sheet furthered that accused, on the same diverse dates and address, embezzled forty six million leones from Bernette Amara Cummings, which belongs to the complainant.

The bail of the accused still remains in force, and the matter was adjourned to 28th August, 2020.

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