By Feima Sesay
A twenty six years old footballer Alex Smith was yesterday sent to prison by Magistrate Santigie Bangura of Pademba road court No.3 for an alleged fraud at Zenith Bank
The accused was arraigned on three count charges of Conspiracy to defraud contrary to law, Forgery contrary to section 4 (1) of Forgery Act 1913 and Uttering Forged document contrary to section 6 (1) (2) of the Forgery Act of 1913.
According to the particulars of offence on Thursday 13th April at Zenith Bank Sierra Leone Limited at # 20 Rawdon Street Freetown ‘’with intent to defraud, conspired together and with other persons unknown and Forged the signature of Alpha Umaru Jalloh’s account at the said bank, knowing same to be Fraud.’’
Police prosecutors said that on count two , on the above date and place the accused person ‘’with intent to defraud, Forged certain document, to wit, Zenith Bank withdrawal slip with account Number 4110139988 bearing the name Alpha Umaru Jalloh dated 13/11/2023 purporting that it was prepared by Alpha Umaru Jalloh.
And on count three the accused, at the same place and date with intent to defraud, uttered one Zenith Bank Withdrawal Slip with account number 4110139988 bearing the name Alpha Umaru Jalloh, dated 13/11/2023 knowing the same to have been Forged. ‘’
Led in evidence by Deputy Superintendent of Police Sorie Conteh the Prosecution witness number one, Ishmael Bah said he is an internal auditor at Zenith Bank Sierra Leone Limited, adding that his responsibility is to ensure that staff work in accordance with the policies of the bank and the laws of the state.
He said he knows Alimamy Sesay as a colleague Staff at Zenith Bank SL limited and he recognized the accused person in the dock, noting that he came to know him in respect of this matter.
The witness recalled on the 13th April 2023, he was on duty in the said office when he heard that the accused person made a withdrawal slip in the name of Alpha Umaru Jalloh one of their customers.
According the witness , the accused wrote wrong figure on the slip with inscription NL 300,5 with a wrong date November 2023 and proceeded with the withdrawal slip to Alimamy Sesay one of their colleagues.
He said it was Alimamy who raise the alarm.
The witness said Thomas Macauley, the police attached at the bank immediately took the accused person to his office together with the withdrawal slip and reported to the issue.
He said during their investigation, the Supervisor told him that their investigation had proven that the slip was Forged and he noticed that the owner of the slip name Alpha Umaru Jalloh and the account was different.
He said he confronted the accused person and told him to his face that he does not own the account. According to him, the accused person was later taken to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters where the matter was reported and that he eventually made statements and he identified the Slip to the police .
At this stage during his testimony, the deposit slip was produced and tendered in court to form part of the court records. The prosecutor asked for a short adjournment date afterwards.
Defence Lawyer who represented the accused person Musa Beraytay renewed his previous applications for bail but Magistrate Bangura refused and sent the accused person to the male correctional center in Freetown. The case comes up again on the 12th May 2023 for further hearing.