Finance Officer Nelson Lahai Conteh, employed by the House of Electronics Enterprise, has found himself entangled in a legal battle after being accused of orchestrating financial misconduct.

The allegations revolve around Conteh’s purported creation of a personal account at the Commerce Mortgage Bank (CMB), into which he allegedly transferred a staggering sum of over one billion leones. The accusations were presented during preliminary investigations at the Magistrate Court before Magistrate Santigie Bangura of Pademba Road Court No.2 in Freetown.

Following thorough examination of the evidence, Magistrate Santigie Bangura deemed it fit to elevate the case to the High Court for a full trial. The accused was granted bail in the substantial sum of Le1 billion.

Conteh faces a total of five charges, including two counts of embezzlement under section 17 (1) (b) of the Larceny Act, 1916. Additionally, he is charged with two counts of money laundering under section 15 (1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism Act 2012 Act No.2 of 2013. The fifth count pertains to conspiracy to defraud, contrary to law.

The charges specify that between Tuesday, 9th April, 2019, and Friday, 29th September, 2023, Conteh, in his capacity as Finance Officer, allegedly opened a fictitious account at the Commerce Mortgage Bank (CMB), diverting funds intended for the House of Electronics Enterprise. The accused is accused of embezzling Le1,906,825,005 and Le741,197.05 on separate occasions.

Shockingly, the charge sheet alleges that Conteh utilized unlawfully obtained funds to purchase a parcel of land at Tokeh Village and a mobile phone (iPhone 15 pro-max), both claimed to be property of the House of Electronics Enterprise.

Sergeant 9155 Dwight McCarthy is prosecuting the matter, and the accused will face trial in the High Court as the legal proceedings unfold.