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Alleged fraudster returns to prison

11,Jan 2017
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By Mohamed Kai

Magistrate Albert Moody of Court N0.2 in Freetown Friday ordered that Saffi Ansumana be remanded at the female correctional centre for allegedly committing grave criminal offence, contrary to the country’s laws.

The Defendant in the matter is facing a two-count charge of fraudulent conversion and larceny, contrary to the Larceny Act of 1916. The particulars of the offence indicated that she collected the sum of $20,000 from the plaintiff, Sallay Janneh, in December 2016.

During cross-examination by counsel for defendant the plaintiff, Janneh, responded that the defendant was introduced to her by her friend and on one particular occasion the defendant approached her and requested the said amount from her but could not tell whether she was a business woman.

Madam Janneh further responded that after collecting the above mentioned amount the defendant disappeared into thin air, until she was nabbed at a secluded place in some part of Freetown and charged to court.

According to the complainant, the defendant never told her that she was a businesswoman.

At this stage, Lawyer Marrah for the defendant renewed his application for bail on behalf of his client by stating that he had supplied all the relevant provisions in his previous applications for bail to the bench.

He argued that the defendant was the bread winner of her family, coupled with the fact that her travelling documents were already in the custody of the court and that if granted bail, she would be able refund the money to the plaintiff.

Lawyer Marrah further stated that the defendant had learnt her lesson, considering the length of time she had spent in detention and would also ensure her presence on every adjourned date.

On the other hand, Counsel for the plaintiff, J. Tommy, also argued that he was opposed to bail on the grounds that the accused was arrested on warrant and seriously pressurized before producing $5,000 to his client.

He maintained that the defendant was a flight risk and had made several vague promises in terms of refunding the money, adding that nothing concrete was done to keep her promise. He said although bail condition was squarely the prerogative of the presiding Magistrate, he was opposed to bail being granted to the defendant, Ansumana.

After weighing arguments from both counsels Magistrate Moody denied the defendant bail on the premise that she had not done anything serious to refund the money she took from the plaintiff, citing the instance where she could only refund $5000 after police apprehended her at a secluded hideout. He ordered that the defendant be sent back to detention.

The matter was adjourned to Friday 13 January 2017.  

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