Sierra Leone: John Ibrahim Kabia is currently behind bars at the remand centre, Pademba Road Prison, after second prosecution witness Foday Sesay testified against him in the on-going preliminary investigation into allegation of obtaining money by false pretence.
According to the police, John Ibrahim Kabia, on a date unknown between 1st October 2019 and October 2020 at Devil Hole, Waterloo, obtained Le 20,500,000 from Lahai Bockarie by falsely pretending that he will enable him to travel to Turkey, knowing the same to be false.
Kabia is charged with obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 32(1) of the Larceny Act of 1916.
Foday Sesay while testifying against Kabia recalled the date of the incident (between 1st October 2019 and October 2020), that a man named Hassan met him and Marrah at his workplace and told them that he had someone capable of facilitating his travel to America. He mentioned that the said individual lived in Waterloo.
Kabia confirmed that he was capable of facilitating Marrah’s travel to Turkey when Sesay and Marrah met him at his residence in Waterloo.
He continued that Kabia requested for Le 20 million for Marrah to travel to Turkey, and Le 700,000 for registration. Sesay told the Court that he had expressed interest in travelling, but his son who was going to pay told him he hadn’t any money at the time to pay for the expenses.
Marrah on the other hand said he had money and was willing to pay, but disclosed that he had the money in his bank account. Kabia requested for a transfer of the cash to his own account, for which Marrah paid Le 20,500,000 in two trenches, with the first being Le 10 million.
One month later, Kabia demanded for the remaining Le 10 million, while he urged Marrah to get prepared, adding that his time to travel was drawing near. “Three of us handed the money to Kabia at his residence in Waterloo,” Sesay said.
Before long, they tried reaching Kabia, but to no avail. Later, they learnt that Kabia had been arrested and was imprisoned at the Male Correctional Facility on Pademba Road. “To my surprise, I called Kabia and he picked my call. Since I had earlier told him I had interest in travelling to Turkey. I now told him I had the cash, and wanted him to facilitate my visa. Kabia showed up for the cash and he was arrested,” Sesay disclosed.
He added that Kabia is yet to return the money, adding that they reported the matter to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Kabia’s lawyer was not in court and could not cross-examine the witness. Magistrate Mark Ngegba sent Kabia to prison and he deferred cross-examination to the next court sitting on 19th April 2021.