A fraud matter involving one Pastor Henarie Fortune Josiah was yesterday committed to the High Court for trial after the Magistrate Court ruled that the ‘man of God’ – who was alleged to have defrauded one Alieu Saidu Sannoh of properties worth one hundred and nineteen million Leones (Le119m) – has a case to answer.
In the ruling, Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No. 1 stated that the prosecution had led sufficient evidence against the accused to warrant the committal of the matter to the High Court.
He said the accused did make a denial statement but that there was evidence before the court to show that he did commit the said crime.
In his plea of mitigation, the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence he was charged with and promised to call more witnesses at the superior court to testify in his defence.
Magistrate Kamanda, however, granted the accused person bail in the sum of Le60 million plus two sureties in like sum, and the sureties must be resident owners within the jurisdiction. Also part of the condition was that the bail should be approved by the acting Master and Registrar.
It could be recalled that the accused person, sometime in December 2012 at Mayemi, Lower Allen Town on the outskirts of Freetown, was alleged to have fraudulently converted to his own use certain properties, including seven hospital beds valued Le700,000; twenty-one mattresses valued Le1,800,000; twenty rubber chairs; fifteen HP computers; one three-seater Toyota vehicle; two training chairs; and other materials, all to the total value of Le119 million.
The accused was represented by defence counsel C. Pujeh, while the matter was prosecuted by Assistant Superintendent of Police Samuel Kamara.