In the ongoing fraud case against two employees of Bloom Bank Sierra Leone Limited, Chief Internal Auditor Ernest Ohue provided crucial testimony today at Pademba Road Court No. 1, presided over by Principal Magistrate Sahr Kekura.

The case centers on allegations of significant financial misconduct involving two individuals, Musa Joseph Sesay and Joshua Gbanyah.

Musa Joseph Sesay, a Human Resource Officer at Bloom Bank, and Joshua Gbanyah, a student at the College of Excellent and Digital, face a series of serious charges. These include 10 counts of larceny by servant, 12 counts of causing money to be paid by false pretenses, one count of forgery, one count of uttering forged documents, and conspiracy to defraud. The charges allege that between January 2 and August 31, 2023, the two conspired to defraud the bank of 619,000 new Leones.

The indictment outlines that Sesay purportedly stole funds allocated for electricity bill payments (EDSA bills) on numerous occasions. Meanwhile, Gbanyah is accused of deceitfully presenting Tamba Pessima as an EDSA agent, resulting in the bank paying out 619,000 new Leones. Additionally, Gbanyah faces charges for forging and uttering a fraudulent statement of results from the College of Digital Excellent.

During his testimony, Ohue elaborated on his responsibilities within the bank, which include offering independent assurance to the board and executives concerning risk management, corporate governance, and internal controls. Ohue explained that both Sesay and Gbanyah had roles related to administrative duties and expense management within the bank.

Ohue further disclosed that Sesay issued 17 expense vouchers amounting to 224,000 new Leones for EDSA credit that was never actually purchased. This fraudulent activity was uncovered when EDSA officials visited the bank on December 6, 2023, to retrieve the meter due to unpaid bills.

Following Ohue’s testimony, the prosecution requested additional time to prepare their case, leading to a brief adjournment. Defense attorneys Leon Jenkins Johnston and Charles Pujeh sought bail for their clients, but Inspector Mabel Tarawally opposed this motion. Magistrate Kekura, citing the gravity of the charges, denied bail and remanded the accused until the next court session on May 23, 2024.

The case, which continues to develop, holds significant ramifications for Bloom Bank and the individuals involved.