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Marabout convicted in D6M fraud case

Aug 8, 2011, 1:34 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

A supposed marabout, Muhammed Ceesay, was on 3 August 2011 convicted and sentenced to a fine of D50,000 in default to serve two years in prison with hard labour, by the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Magistrate Tabally.

Convicted for obtaining money by false pretence, Ceesay was also ordered to compensate the complainant with D5.7 million in default to serve ten years in prison.

According to the charge sheet on count one, in 2006, at Serrekunda and diverse places in the Kanifing Municipality, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, Ceesay collected D6,000,000 from one Seedy Willan, a Senegalese national, under the pretext of providing him with jujus, knowing same to be false.

Count two stated that the convict and one Alhagie Saibo Kebbeh, at same place and time, by false pretence, jointly conspired to collect D6,000,000 from the complainant, Seedy Willan.

Before passing the judgment, Magistrate Tabally revealed that the prosecution had called four witnesses and tendered exhibits of agreement executed by the convict, which he (the convict) undertook to pay at installments of D2.5 million, whilst receipts of various amounts of money paid were also tendered.

He said the convict denied the allegations, adding that it was his own money he personally gave to the complainant to send it to him in The Gambia, as the border control unit would not allow him to enter with that amount of money.

He added that the convict testified and called two witnesses and tendered exhibits in support of his case.

After perusing both the evidences of the prosecution witnesses and the convict, the presiding magistrate said the prosecution had established their case.

He adduced that the convict was very evasive under cross-examination and could not read the document he tendered in Arabic text.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubts,” he told the court, indicating that the accused was hereby convicted on count two, stating that count one was earlier struck out by the prosecution.

In his plea of mitigation, the convict told the court that he is a family man. “I have four wives and I am survived by a lot of children,” he added, pleading with the court to temper justice with mercy, as a breadwinner.

The prosecution applied for compensation pursuant to sections of the criminal procedure code.