Claude Cambell, who has been posing as a barrister, was granted bail of Le400,000 after appearing before Magistrate Santigie Bangura at Pademba Road Court No. 2 in Freetown.

Cambell faces charges of obtaining money by false pretense, contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone, for allegedly deceiving businessman Daniel Gbembo out of Le401, 330.

The charges stem from an incident where Cambell allegedly promised to supply Gbembo with 2,400 bags of cement, 5.5 tons of iron rods, 1,000 hardboards, and 45 liters of varnish, knowing the offer to be fraudulent. If found guilty Cambell will face punishment under section 32(1) of the 1916 Larceny Act.

During the court proceedings, the prosecution’s first witness, Daniel Gbembo, identified Cambell and recounted how the accused presented himself as Barrister Claude Cambell. Gbembo recalled their initial meeting on April 20, 2024, at his shop on Main Motor Road, Grafton, where Cambell claimed to be a lawyer with a chamber on Campbell Street. Cambell offered to sell building materials from one of his clients who was allegedly traveling to Canada.

Gbembo agreed to the transaction. which included the supply of 2,400 bags of cement, 5.5 tons of iron rods, 1,000 hardboards, and 45 liters of varnish. He requested receipts, which Cambell provided with a signature and “Esq” logo. Cambell explained that only lawyers use such signatures.

The fraud came to light when CID officers visited Gbembo’s shop a month later, informing him about the stolen goods. Gbembo contacted Cambell, who initially assured him that he would handle the matter but later became unreachable. Eventually, CID officers apprehended Cambell and obtained a statement from him.

Magistrate Santigie Bangura granted Cambell bail with stringent conditions, including two sureties who must each operate businesses worth at least Le400,000, provide bank statements, and own property in the Western Urban District of Freetown worth no less than Le400,000.

The sureties must also present valid documents, including passports, national identity cards, and driver’s licenses. The bail is subject to approval by the Master and Registrar.