FAKE TITLE DEEDS FOR US$125,000 CRIME: Bail condition dilutedJuly 20, 2017
Magistrate Dr. Bineh Kamara, now Hon. Dr. Justice Bineh Kamara has been taken aback and left in a state of shock after discovering that the bail condition granted in a criminal case has been compromised on behalf of the Accused person, Mohammed Tito Bah. The Accused, Mohammed Tito Bah, was dragged to Court on a criminal indictment of obtaining money by fraud and under false pretenses in the sum of US$125,000 for the purpose of selling gold to the Complainant Justin B. Kamara. Lawyers representing Mohammed Tito Bah have argued that it was a contract and not a buying and selling affair.
However, during the trial, the then Magistrate granted bail to the accused person, taking into account the quantum of money involved and the evidence adduced against him on the following conditions, namely on the production of three sureties with titles in the western area, bank statements from each of the sureties showing a balance of Le 500 Million each, three current passports and not identity cards and physical cash to be deposited into the Sub- Treasury Account. If the conditions are met the Master and Registrar of the High Court should approve the bail condition to grant the Accused person temporal freedom until the conclusion of the matter, which possibly after commission would be concluded at the High Court.
With little or no knowledge a group of individuals have been busy faking documents to get the Accused person out of custody. Court sources have alleged that instead of originals of the title deeds as is always the case, photocopies of titles were obtained from the Registrar General’s office after some fees negotiated and agreed by the parties involved to satisfy the bail criteria. Hon. Dr. Justice Bineh Kamara report states had no knowledge that the bail condition he granted to the Accused person has been diluted to grant him freedom. This is not the first time that some officials of the Court are in the habit of diluting bail criteria for certain accused persons for a negotiated amount behind closed doors.
News about the watering down of the bail criteria of the court reached the ears, according to court sources of the newly promoted Judge and was shocked to learn that some unknown court officials have been involved in a bail deal to illegally get criminals out of detention. The Master and Registrar of the High Court who should approve the bail was quoted to have said that he has no idea and did not approve the bail. Who approved the bail is the mystery that should be investigated by the Judiciary as report alleges that relatives of the Accused person bribed the sum of Le30,000.000 (Thirty Million Leones) on behalf of the Accused person to get him out of detention and a Police officer of Magistrate Court Number One was involved who reportedly facilitated the process. It is not known whether or not the Court Clerk was involved as Production Order has to be prepared and submitted to the prison authorities for the release of the Accused person in the custody of the Correctional Centre.
The Accused person was to reappear in Court on 5th July, 2017; but sources say his presence was conspicuously absent, whether it was due to the workshop held by the Judiciary involving Judges and Magistrates or he has left the jurisdiction of Sierra Leone is a matter of wait and see.