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117-Count Trial Heats up

Apr 7, 2008, 8:34 AM | Article By: By Modou Sanyang

The trial of Margarette Sey-Drammeh commenced on Wednesday at the Kanifing Magistrates' Court, before Magistrate Cecilia Jahateh. The defendant faces 117-count charges.

Adducing evidence in the trial PW1, Marie Senghore, told the court that she worked as a consultant and a contractor. "I recognise the accused. She worked as a Secretary and Accounts Officer for me from March 2001 to October 2005, at Mar Consult and Bajan Enterprise. She was responsible for purchasing of construction materials as well as handling the accounts," she added. "On October 2005, I got a call from premium TV that the cheque that was sent to them was returned."

PW1 further told the court that she decided to call the bank to find out why they returned the cheque, but they responded by sending her the balance of the account. She informed the court that Mar Consult had local Dalasi, Euro and dollar accounts, while Bajan Enterprise had only a local Dalasi account. She revealed that she requested the bank statement from Trust bank and she noticed that the two Dalasi accounts were overdrawn by D200, 000 each. She added that she also requested the bank statement from Guaranty Trust bank's Churchills Town branch, which she also noticed was overdrawn by D75, 000.

Both the Dalasi accounts at Trust Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank were in the red, she revealed.

PW1 further adduced that she then called the accused to her office for an explanation, and the accused told her that she used some of the money to renovate her house, buy a bed, a TV set and had a debt to settle. "The accused told me that she forged my signature," she stated, adding that the accused was responsible for the management of the two-establishment accounts, drawing of vouchers and cheques for her signature.

"I was the sole signatory to both accounts at Trust Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank." The accused, she stated, was also responsible for holding all the chequebooks, collecting bank statements from the Bank, as well as Bank reconciliation.

She testified that she requested the Euro and Dollar accounts of Mar Consult and noticed that the actual balance was less than what should have been in the accounts, adding that she also noticed that Euros and Dollars had been transferred to the Dalasi account and that she also noticed that from the bank statement that the Dollar cash  given to the accused had not all been paid to the account.

The case was at that point adjourned to 17th April 2008.