The Ministry of Lands, Housing and country Planning has signed an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Sierra Leone and Mustapha Njie’s of TAF Africa Global Real Estate Company in an investment mission to construct one million affordable homes on the African continent.
TAF Africa Global Real Estate Company, working in line with President Julius Maada Bio’s vision is to construct micro-cities and affordable homes within Sierra Leone.
A four (days’) working visit of the Gambian national and international investor, Mustapha Njie was made to Sierra Leone in an effort to meet with the Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning Dr. Turad Senesie. The meeting was very successful and climaxed to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the TAF Africa Global Real Estate Company and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning which will provide Sierra Leone with affordable building structures and new cities.
The Gambian national Mustapha Njie and his Sierra Leonean counterpart visited possible investment sites in various parts of the country where the proposed affordable homes will be constructed.. Sierra Leone is among the ninth (9th) country on the African continent to benefit from the TAF Africa Global Real Estate Company affordable homes.
While on national tour of various parts of the country, Mustapha Njie was impressed with the beautiful landscape of Sierra Leone, and expressed his desire to be part of President Bio’s human development agenda and promised to invest heavily in Sierra Leone more especially in the housing sector.
The TAF Africa Global Real Estate Company executive officer says the company is ready to undertake affordable housing investments with no financial cost or burden on the Government President Julius Maada Bio.
Three years ago, when President Bio took over governance, he travelled to The Gambia to sign bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and The Gambia on business investments. While in The Gambia, he met Mustapha Njie and engaged him on possible housing investment in Sierra Leone.
Mustapha Njie’s disclosed his plans to the President to actualize his dream through millions of dollars investment on an affordable housing system which will create new cities in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Turad Senesie the Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning said the affordable housing project would showcase the president’s dream to build micro-cities across Sierra Leone. The Minister added that the Ministry through World Bank has approved $40 million dollars grant to support the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning.
Arms & Ammunitions Saga…
Customs Officer Testifies against MP
By Feima Sesay
Third prosecution witness, in the on-going Preliminary Investigation (PI) into alleged illegal importation of arms and ammunitions; and aiding and abetting, Mohamed Sannoh, on Monday 30th August 2021, testified against a Member of Parliament of the All People’s Congress Party and two others.
Sannoh identified himself as an employee of the National Revenue Authority, Customs Service Department. He disclosed that he is also head of Anti-smuggling Unit, and that his role includes trade facilitation, revenue generation, ensuring the protection and security of the state by checking for restricted and prohibited goods, monitoring, examining of goods among others.
He recognized all three accused persons in the dock. He recalled that on the 2nd July 2021, he was on duty at the Quay where containers are usually discharged for inspection at around 3pm when one Foday Fofanah called his attention to a grey Pathfinder Jeep that was parked nearby.
He continued that Fofanah told him that he had discovered arms and ammunitions in the aforementioned vehicle. Sannoh said he in turn called another colleague, Mohamed Kabbah Massaquio who happened to be the first Prosecution Witness. Sannoh said he was shown a plastic bag which contained items suspected to be arms and ammunitions.
Upon Massaquio’s arrival with police officers, Sannoh said a certain Victor Muana drove the vehicle to a point where all could see what was in it. He added that himself, other colleagues as well as the police officers present moved to Massaquio’s office where the items were counted for them to be handed over to the police.
The witness further narrated that while the arms were being counted, they heard a knock on the door, when they checked it was the third accused, Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh. The witness identified Honourable Conteh in court.
He further said that Honourable Conteh explained that he went in respect of a vehicle that had issues with Customs. The witness disclosed that Honourable Conteh showed Massaquio a picture of the vehicle he went for on his phone, adding that the vehicle he showed matches the vehicle that had issues with Customs.
He said when the items found inside the vehicle were shown to Honourable Conteh, he exclaimed that the said vehicle is not his, adding that he could not have brought arms into his country, owing to the fact that he is an Honourable Member of Parliament.
He said, before long, AIG East and LUC of Ross Road came to the scene. He said Honourable Conteh revealed that the consignee of the container was one Nabieu Unisa Raymond Bangura (first accused), while one Carew was the shipping agent. He said Carew was called in respect of his role in the shipment, and he confirmed that he did ship the container.
Sannoh said, himself, Massaquio, Honourable Conteh, and a few police officers present moved to the Commissioner of Customs and explained to him what had happened. He mentioned that the arms included: 100 live rounds, 12 gun magazines, and 7 pistols.
He said when the Commissioner asked the Honourable if he was aware of the arms, he said Honourable Conteh said he hadn’t any knowledge over the items, adding that he is not the owner of the vehicle, but only came to assist a friend, for he had a duty free concession. Honourable Conteh also mentioned that the consignee was Bangura (first accused) who showed up. He said the first accused confirmed that he was the one that shipped the container including the guns, but when he was asked if he had licence for the importation of arms, he said he hadn’t. They were then handed over to the police.
Magistrate Sahr Kekura adjourned the matter to Wednesday 1st September 2021. All accused persons are on bail.
Alleged Le183.4M Theft at Zenith Bank…Staff Testifies
By Feima Sesay
The first prosecution witness Louis Turay on Monday 30 August 2021 testified in the on-going preliminary investigation into alleged fraud at Zenith Bank before Magistrate Sahr Kekura, against the marketing officer of Zenith Bank, Wellington branch and one customer of the said bank.
The accused persons Marvin Onyedikacti and Hassan Morie Yajah were dragged to court on three counts charges of Conspiracy contrary to law, Larceny and Larceny by Servant, all contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
According to the charge statement on count one, police alleged that both accused persons on diverse date between 14 March 2021 and 13 July 2021 at Zenith Bank Rawdon Street Freetown conspired together with other persons unknown to commit a felony to wit Larceny.
The Police further alleged that on count two the first accused Marvin Onyedikacti on the said dates at Zenith Bank Wellington Branch stole the sum of one hundred and eighty three million, four hundred and forty one thousand six hundred and forty Leones (183,441,640) property of Zenith Bank.
Whiles counts three stated that the second accused Hassan Morie Yajah on same date in Freetown did steal the sum of fifty million Leones (Le 50,000,000) property of Zenith Bank.
In continuation of his evidence recognized both accused persons and recalled the aformentioned dates.
He added that on 7 July 2021, the bank received a complaint from one customer allegeding that 450 USD has been missing from his account, adding that upon receipt of that information they told the customer to do it in writing which was done.
The said complainant letter was produced and tendered in court to form part of the records.
He said after receiving the complaint from complainant, they conducted an internal investigation, adding that during the course of the internal investigation it was revealed that the fund in question 450 US dollar was transfer from the account of the complaint to one Isata Momoh account using mobile banking.
According to him it was also discovered that the said Isata Momoh was the wife of first accused person.
The witness said after it was discovered that the monies were transfer to first accused wife, they then asked first accused question as to what led to that
He said they also notice funds that was being transfer to the account of first wife and trace the fund back to the dormant accounts of various customers.
The transfer was withdrawn from a dormant account which has not been in existence for a while.
Looking further into the dormant account, he said the bank discovered another huge amount of money of over 50 million Leones transfer to the second accused person’s account, and the curiosity arose to the fact that when account are open, bank normally request for initial deposit.
He added that in the case of second accused account, all the transactions were done using mobile banking from the same dormant accounts of customers that were debited to Isata Momoh’s account.
He added that during the course of further investigation it was revealed that several amounts were debited from customers’ account and credited to the second accused’s account.
He said from their investigation, the first accused used the transit account as a means to transfer various customers’ funds into that of his wife, sons and second accused accounts.
He said after they have established that fact, they visited the house of first accused at new site Samuel town Waterloo.
Turay continued that on their arrival they discovered a connection between first and second accused persons and they were brought to the bank for questioning where first accused he said confessed to the offence.
He said the first accused further told them that he took the money for his younger brother kidney operation in Nigeria.
According to him second accused also admitted making withdrawal from the various accounts on the instruction of first accused and that he handed all the funds to first accused.
The first accused promise to cooperate with the investigation and gave us various accounts number which agrees with the ones that were discovered during the course of their investigation.
He said they were both handed over to CID HQ for further investigation and that he made statement to the police at CID HQ.
The aforementioned transaction slips were all tendered in court respectively to form part of the prosecution case.
Defense counsel for first accused Marvin Onyedikacti renewed his application for bail which was denied by the Magistrate.
The accused persons were sent back to prison and the matter adjourned to 6th September 2021 for further hearing.
ASP Ibrahim Mansaray prosecuted the matter on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.
LAWYER LANSANA DUMBUYA: POSSIBLY, NEXT APC SEC. GEN.
Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya who has twice contested for the APC National Secretary General position is the reinvigorated hope of the party to power in 2023.
This legal luminary who has been in the APC since his teenage years has an enviable profile both nationally and internationally. His international assignments inter alia span from serving as part of the initial defense team of Charles Taylor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone to being a prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda a UN Court established in Arusha to prosecute the genocide against the Tutsis. In fact, he was working with the United Nations in Tanzania when he decided to come home and serve his party and by extension, his people. He has represented the party in several legal matters viz. Edie Turay, Serry Kamal vs Ernest Koroma, Koita, Daramy and Herbert vs the State, the Commission of Inquiry and many more, He was part of the Nine-Man Committee and the Constitutional Review Committee formed by the party after the 2018 elections. He has practised law for over two decades after earning his Master in Human Rights Law and Democratization in Africa in one of the best universities in Africa, the University of Pretoria. Suffice it to say that he is not only a human rights lawyer but a democrat as well. Comrades will agree with me that there is no better time of having a democrat at the helm of affairs than this time. He has respectfully waited even when the party in two consecutive delegate conferences did not give him the mandate to serve in that capacity. Even though he was one of the contestants for the Party’s Secretary General position in 2013, he boldly nominated Osman Foday Yansaneh for the position he was vying for, in that convention and he (Mr Dumbuya) is always remembered for fondly remarking in that Convention that, “Dis APCness kiŋ mɔna sɔmtɛm o” taking into consideration the resources he had invested in mounting a thorough pre-convention campaign. He has done so much for the party in addition to his legal services. He was the Head of Litigation for LAWCLA where he won so many high profile cases for that institution. Mr. Dumbuya is an honest, reliable, and transparent gentleman with a profound sense of responsibility. His dedication to the party is quite refreshing especially as one considers his willingness at all times to oblige. He is very keen, sharp and analytical in his responses and presentations. He is certainly very intelligent and extremely critical about issues. He is pleasant and very respectful with an endearing and trusting attitude. This must not suggest a weakness in him but conversely, a discerning character capable to psychoanalyze those whom he reveres and respects. This piece will not be enough to outline all his activities for the party.
Mr Dumbuya is fearless but respectful to all who have served in various capacities in the party including the current National Secretary General. This young and brilliant gentleman has what it takes to improve on the unity of the party and add to the gains his predecessor.