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In Sierra Leone, Saint Josephís Convent Bursar Pleads Guilty to 85 Corruption Charges
By Vidal Boltman
Feb 24, 2009, 17:26
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The Bursar of the Saint Josephís Convent Senior Secondary School, Cecil Steven Ansumana, on Monday 23rd February 2009, pleaded guilty to 85 corruption charges in a matter presided over by Justice Mary Sei of the High Court in Freetown.

According to the charges, the accused on diverse unknown dates misappropriated government funds contrary to section 12 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act 2000 as amended.

The accused is said to have swindled a huge amount of money meant for the smooth running of he school.

He pleaded guilty to all 85 count charges and asked the judge to tamper justice with mercy, adding that "this is the very first time I am involved in such a court matter".

He acknowledged the fact that he did sign vouchers and disburse monies, but said he was acting under instructions.

Justice Sei in her wisdom sentenced the accused to two years imprisonment each on all counts, which she should be served concurrently. She added that the court deemed it appropriate to deliver a lenient sentence because the accused acknowledged his guilt and did not waste the courtís time.

In another development, Alex Sesay was also arraigned before Justice Sei to answer to two count charges relating to impersonation, contrary to section 26 of the Anti Corruption Act 2000 as amended.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused between 1st October to 31st October 2008 went to the Laura Dove Municipal School pretending that he was an official of he ACC to investigate a matter relating to a donation made by Mercury International to the Milton Margai School for the Blind.

Counsel for the accused, C.F. Edwards, begged for mercy, noting that the accused is a family man and has lost virtually everything he had. Justice Sei, in her ruling, said the accused has been charged with impersonation, which she maintained is contrary to section 76 of the ACC Act 2000 as amended.

She said since the accused is the first to be charged with such an offence, the court will only impose a fine of Five Million Leones on each count or face a 6-months jail term.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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