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SPECIAL REPORTS : Afsatu Kabba  

In Sierra Leone, Afsatu Didnít Sign Anywhere for 5 Cheques... Whilst High Court Demands Signatories, Bank Statement for the Account
By Augustine Samba & Aruna Turay
May 19, 2010, 11:49
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Scanned Coloured Copies of the Back & Front of the five (5)Original Cheques which have now been tendered in Court had been retreived by Awareness Times' investigative team and are here reproduced below this article for the benefit of our Readers.

High Court Judge, Justice Ademusu on Monday 17th May 2010 requested Mr. Abubakarr Jalloh who doubles as the Acting Director, Banking Department at the Central Bank and first Prosecution Witness (PW1) to tender names of signatories and bank statements in respect of withdrawals from the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Account of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources as demanded by the Defence Counsel for the Ex-Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba who made her fourth appearance in court on allegations of corruption.

Giving his account, PW1, told the court that in total, about five cheques were used to withdraw Le.310m (Three Hundred and Ten Million Leones) from the MCS account on diverse dates which the Anti-Corruption Commission alleged to have been done under the "verbal instructions" of Haja Afsatu Kabba but which the embattled female minister vehemently denies saying the first time she had knowledge of such withdrawals was when she was charged to court and saw them being referenced on the Indictment Papers she was served with.

The Cheques of Le.160 Million, Le.35 Million, Le.45 Million, Le.30 Million, and Le.40 Million respectively tendered were marked exhibit A1 to A5 for court for records. The same set of two signatories were on all the five cheques and have been identified to Awareness Times as being those of the acting Director of Fisheries, Dr. M.B. Sesay and the Chief Accountant, Mr. Sanusi. The PW1 said three of the exhibits A1, 2 and 3 were processed on 27th October 2009, while the remaining two, A4 and A-5 were processed on 28th October 2009 with one of the latter withdrawn in name of Yeani Enterprises and all the other four withdrawn in cash by one Ginna Missah of 6A Teneba Road, Calaba Town who is also the Sub-Accountant at the Fisheries Ministry.

After tendering the five cheques, PW1 was asked by the lead Defense Lawyer, Jenkins Johnston Esq. whether they bore the names of Haja Afsatu Kabba on them to which he answered in the negative for each and every single cheque, thus warranting the Defense to request the witness to name all the signatories to the MCS account and tender the bank statements of all withdrawals from the said account since the account was opened so as to enable proper cross examination.

PW1 however asked the court to give him a weekís period to provide them as he was not in possession of the requested bank statements. He also said he could not remember the precise names of the signatories to the account but promised to bring the names the next time he attended court.

At this juncture, the Defense asked for an adjournment of the matter so as to allow the witness to submit to the court the required documents. The presiding judge duly adjourned the matter to tomorrow Thursday May 20th May 2010.

The Law Courts once again during the sitting, bolted down, with huge padlocks, virtually all the entrances to the Law Courts whilst armed police officers once again drove supporters of Haja Afsatu Kabba away from the Courts leaving only a handful of her sympathizers managing to enter the courtroom with all the rest waiting on the streets outside until the matter was adjourned.

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

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