US$500, 000 Theft Case… Complainant Alie Abess Cross Examined

By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

Popular Freetown based transport magnate, Ali Abess the complainant in the ongoing US$500,000 (five hundred thousand Dollars) case that was allegedly stolen by a female Lebanese, Kanda Skaiky, has been cross examined by Defense Lawyer for the accused, M.P Fofanah.

In his testimony, Ali Abess told the court that before he departed for Lebanon, he left keys to the upper part of his house leading to his 2 bedrooms and his shop key at 128 Sir Samuel Lewis Road, Aberdeen, with the accused who, he said, escorted him to the Aberdeen Water Taxi jetty en route to the Lungi Airport. He said he had money in his shop safe and that the accused was present when Ecobank staff came with a vehicle and collected the money, adding that he handed all his keys to the accused.

Ali Abess said he did not tell the accused about the money in his bedroom closet as there was no need for that and that he has no recording of the instructions given by him to the accused to open his room and closet, but that he sent a voice note from the accused after she had removed the US$140,000 that she was instructed to do from primary to secondary locations.

He told the court that on his return to Sierra Leone, he met £5,000, US$2,000 in 5 dollar bills in his secret shelf and also the Leones currency intact; adding that during his three weeks stay in Lebanon, the accused was in charge of both his business office and home. Ali Abess said during his absence, money was coming in from the business which he said the accused Kanda Sheiky was in charge but had no problems with that as it was not handed over to him, adding that nobody audits his account.

He said that he did not have documentary evidence but that his wife is his witness to ascertain that he had such amount of cash at home.

He said his wife has never been a suspect and that she was not called by the police to make a statement, adding that he is unaware of any bad blood between the accused and his wife and that no complaint was made to him about his wife by the accused.

He said he is also not aware of any altercation between the accused and his wife, adding that they have been together when the accused paid visit occasionally and that there has been no love affair between him and the accused. Ali Abess further informed the court that he had not at anytime sexually harassed the accused, and that since he employed the accused in 2012, she has been left six times in charge of his house and that most times during those six times, his wife was not around, adding that the accused was in charge and around with Nancy, Musa and Amadu.

He said during working hours, the workers are limited to the downstairs apartment and that the accused was solely in charge of the upstairs, adding that at night, the accused stays alone in the house with the security guards downstairs.

Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens informed both the State and Defense Counsels that they will pay a locus visit to the scene of crime while the accused continues to be on bail.

The matter was adjourned to Monday, 21st September, 2020.