Kabbah Kalu, Crispin Deigh, Chief Tony, Conteh remanded to Pa Demba Road Prison
Magistrate Komba Kamanda of the Freetown Magistrate Court II has remanded Kabbah Simoen Kalu of Premier Investments, Crispin Deigh the Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, his Deputy Patrick Conteh, and Chief Tony Chineyere Vice President of First International Bank. The four men are being held on criminal charges by the Sierra Leone Police with relation to bank fraud totalling $1.9 million.
The accused who have not yet been officially charged are being held at the Pa Demba Road Prison in Freetown. Pa Demba Road Prison which was built before Sierra Leone gained independence had an original capacity of just 220 prisoners. Today the 4 accused will be sharing the prison with over 1000 inmates. They will be in court again on Tuesday July 9th 2013
At the weekly press briefing the Anti Corruption Commission said that his agency is running its own investigations as necessary before a course of action will be decided.
“Based on the audit report from the Bank of Sierra Leone and from the external auditors we are still continuing with our investigations whilst we allow the Police to take the lead, we will be providing oversight until we conclude,” said ACC Boss Joseph Kamara.
Even as he assured the general public of what he described as the Comission’s resolve to minimize the loss of government revenue Mr Kamara expressed grave concern over the disappearance of key documents.
REJOINDER TO THE ONLINE ARTICLE TITLED: “International Tiff Tiff (ITT) fraud starring, Chief Tony, Kabbah Kalu, at 419 Orji Kalu’s bank’’
The attention of the Management of First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited has been drawn to an article by one Amadu L. Bah published in an On-line medium – titled: “International Tiff Tiff(ITT) fraud starring, Chief Tony, Kabbah Kalu, at 419 Orji Kalu’s bank’’, of which excerpts of the article were reported in some local newspapers.
While the Bank would not want to join issues with the writer, especially as the main issue is still either under investigation or in Court, but it is important to correct some wrong and mischievous statements contained in the article.
Firstly, at no time did the Managing Director of First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited report that Chief Tony received a $40,000 pay off from Simeon Kabbah Kalu as the issue of the Le5.6 billion loan to Simeon Kabbah Kalu’s company- Premier Investments (SL) Limited was approved by the Board of the Bank. It is therefore, ridiculous for the writer to make such a statement against the Managing Director of the bank.
Secondly, the article quoted a statement allegedly credited to Superintendent Kamara thus: “We now have in our custody two Senior Directors of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and other private individuals which include a popular Nigerian Businessman, Chief Tony Chinyere who is one of the Directors at the First International Bank”. From the above quotation, two banks and other people were referred to, but the rest of the article after the quotation dwelt entirely on First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited, Chief Tony and Orji Kalu, which exposed the real intentions of the writer to smear the Bank’s reputation and in the process he gave himself out as someone who is xenophobic and parochial. As a matter of fact, Chief Tony Chinyere retired from the Board of Directors of First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited in June 2012 and he is neither a Director nor a Vice Chairman of the Board/Bank.
Thirdly, the writer ought to know that First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited is a Sierra Leone registered Bank and NOT a Nigerian Bank. However, Nigeria, being a sister country that has rendered numerous invaluable assistance and aid to Sierra Leone, all those insinuations and name-calling in the article were totally unnecessary and unrelated to the main issue at stake. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the Bank has credible Sierra Leoneans on its Board and employs indigenes that constitute over 97% of its staff strength. Therefore, the virtual xenophobic outbursts in the article were uncalled for and quite misleading.
Finally, it is worthy of note, perhaps, the writer of the offending article is not aware, that First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited, is the Bank that brought the issue at stake to the public domain when it dragged Premier Investments (SL) Limited to Court in September 2012, to push for the recovery of the debt when the company defaulted in the loan repayment. Therefore, the Bank ought to be credited for its pro-active action instead of being maligned. As we write, First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited has won the case to recover the entire debt including the accrued interest in a Ruling delivered on the 1st of July, 2013 by Honourable Mrs. Justice V M Solomon J. A.
For the avoidance of doubt, First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited is a credible Bank with the largest branch network in Sierra Leone. The Bank is also a strong brand in the banking industry and one of the biggest employers of labour in the sector.
In March 2013 First International Bank Sierra Leone Limited was awarded the INTERNATIONAL TROPHY for QUALITY conferred by Global Trade Leaders Club (GTLC) in Paris, FRANCE and in June 2013 received an award from the prestigious African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) in recognition of its commendable contributions towards the promotion and financing of African Trade.