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NEC Finance Officer testifies in court

NEC Finance Officer testifies in court

National Electoral Commission (NEC) officer Mr. Sylvester Tucker testified before Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No 2 August 2, 2012 over the fraudulent conversion by two NEC officials who had overdrawn approximatelyLe163, to which they pleaded not guilty.

According to the witness, Mr. Tucker told the court that he recalled 15th February 2012, when payment was received from Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) for payment of salaries for NEC officials and fuel for the vehicles, and that normally a financial statement was received from Commercial Bank for them to check whether the account was in credit.

The witness went on to say that upon receiving the bank statement he observed that four of the district accounts were overdrawn by approximately Le163 million by the end of May.

Tucker further told the court that when the accused were asked how the money from the Kailahun District was spent they were not able to account for it to the committee that was set to investigate; of which Tucker was a member.  He did not attempt to tender the financial statement which defence council Lawyer HM Gevao objected to on the grounds that the witness was not the author, nor the addressee.  His objection was upheld by the court based on the technicality of the document, he only re-identified the said document.

The witness was cross-examined by defence council HM Gevao in which the witness told the court that the accused persons drew money from the account for which they were signatories; he added that he would not know whether the accused had any authority in running the office.  He told the court that any money they wanted to use they had to refer to NEC head office.

The witness said he did not know about any document stating that the first accused used NEC money for any purpose other than NEC operations.

The matter was adjourned to 9th August, 2012.

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