By Sahr Eric George,
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Three individuals, Fatmata Bah, Anthony Bundu Bangalie, both teachers, and a social worker, found themselves before the court facing charges of conspiracy and forgery related to a birth certificate.
According to a police report, in May of this year, the accused individuals, along with others whose identities remain unknown, conspired at Blue House in Congo Water, Wellington, to forge a birth certificate with the serial number BC 0166702.
Mamoud Feika, the first prosecution witness and a resident of Earl Street, Senior Operations Officer at the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) in Freetown, shed light on the case during his examination-in-chief led by Inspector Tamba A. P. Sellu. Feika testified that he was familiar with the third accused in the case.
Feika recounted that in May of this year, while at the NCRA office, an employee from the Change Unit, Theresa Bangalie, accompanied by the third accused, Fatmata Bah, approached him with a birth certificate. Bah claimed ownership and wished to make corrections, but Bangalie suspected errors on the certificate.
The Senior Operations Officer explained that he took Bah, along with the birth certificate, to the director responsible for document corrections. Later, the director instructed him to escort Bah, along with the birth certificate, to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). An OSD officer accompanied them to the CID, where statements were taken.
During cross-examination led by lawyer Abdul Rahman Kargbo, representing the third accused, Feika clarified that he did not state in his testimony that he verified the documents because it was not within his duties.
The defence lawyers for the first and second accused had no further questions for Feika.
When Magistrate Ngegba inquired about the employment status of the accused persons, lawyer Abu stated that the first accused is a social worker at Loveable F. Foundation, while the second and third accused are teachers at the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School on Kissy Old Road in Freetown.
Lawyer K. Abu, representing the second accused, applied for bail for all the accused persons. Magistrate Mark Ngegba granted bail in the amount of fifty thousand New Leones (Nle 50,000) to each accused person, on the condition that they provide proof of their employment as teachers and a social worker, with the heads of their respective institutions acting as sureties.
The case has been adjourned to October 19, 2023. SEG/5/10/2023