Testifying before magistrate Alfred Fadiwah at the Freetown Court No.1 last week, Musa Koroma recalled that sometime in 2006 he was approached by one Ibrahim Sesay for a resettlement programme in Canada which he showed interest in.
He said they travelled together with five of his family members to Guinea where he was introduced to one Foday Sesay who posed as a staff of the International Office for Migration in Guinea.
He explained that the accused charged them $3,500 each and that he had to pay $8,000 plus 1,500 Euros as first instalment and later paid $7,000.
“We were later issued travelling documents and refugee cards as criteria to proceed on resettlement in Canada, and thereafter we were taken for medical”, he said.
He maintained that the accused later requested them to either wait for the final result in Guinea or return to Sierra Leone to await the result at their own convenient, which they did.
He further explained that they left everything in the hands of Ibrahim Sesay to do a follow up and later brief them on development on the programme.
“We were later perplexed to receive a call from Ibrahim Sesay informing us that the whole programme was in jeopardy,” he said.
He confirmed that, “I wasted no time in departing for Guinea where I met the accused person, who disclosed to me that his boss Mr Fofanah was on the run, but he had a directive from the Chief Justice of Guinea to sell his house to refund the money.”
With suspicion, he revealed, he contracted the service of a Guinean lawyer one Boiro Salifu who invited the accused but that he absconded since December 2006 until when he was discovered in Sierra Leone in January 2007.
After a lot of negotiations, he said, he reported the matter at the Sierra Leone police headquarters where the accused was charged with obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 32 sub section 1 of the larceny ACT of 1961.
By Solomon Rogers