By Salifu Conteh
Two accused persons, Sheku Koroma (1st accused) and Josephus Smart (2nd accused), who were charged on three counts before Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Magistrate Court No2. In Freetown were granted bail of Forty Million Leones each and two sureties. The bail condition stated that each accused should provide two sureties who should be responsible persons in Freetown and bail to be approved by the Acting Master and Registrar.
Both accused persons were charged on three counts of Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Unlawful Possession contrary to section 13(1) of Cap 37 as amended by Section 5 of Act No 6 of 1981 and Impersonation contrary to section 3 of Cap 34 as amended by Section 3 of the Impersonation and Uniform Amendment Act No 13 of 1975.
The particulars of offences on the first count alleged that the accused on 24th June this year at NASSIT Building, Wallace Johnson Street conspired with others unknown to commit a a crime to wit unlawful possession. On the second count, it was alleged that the accused persons on the said date and place were found in possession of Government Pensioners Pension Identity Card with serial No. 224060/0419440071 bearing the name Bai Kanu, suspected to have been unlawfully obtained, i.e. property of Bai Kanu.
It continues on the 3rd count that the accused with intent to deceive falsely and deceitfully pretending to be Bai Kanu and under that assumed character entered the said NASSIT Building to collect the pension of Bai Kanu, knowing same to be false.
Both accused persons were represented by defense Attorney Lawyer L. Dumbuya; the matter is being prosecuted by Sergeant 922 Dumbuya J.
In his testimony, Prosecution Witness 1 (PW1) Abu Bakarr Maju, a NASSIT Officer said on the said date the 1st accused came to verify during the verification of Government workers. He said the 1st accused presented a NASSIT Card to him but noticed that the face on the card was different from the accused; this prompted him to pose some questions to the accused with regards the card, and also cross checking with the information inside the system.
PW1 said he further informed his boss Edward Koroma (Head of the Benefit Department) to handle the said matter; whilst the process was ongoing, the accused also presented his Voter’s ID card bearing the name Sheku Koroma.
The duplicate was tendered in court to form part for the document and marked as Exhibit A.
The witness further informed the court that he later made statements at the Central Police Station.
The matter continues on the 10th December this year.
Prior to the adjournment, the Defense applied for bail on behalf of the accused persons, citing relevant sections for the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Act, adding that the accused persons are not under any flight risk and there are credible sureties ready to enter recognizance on the accused behalf.
This was opposed by the Prosecution based on the gravity and seriousness of the offenses and the likelihood of interference of prosecuting witnesses.
However, the Magistrate put the accused persons on bail and adjourned the matter.