Christopher Cole Esq
Madam Elizabeth Coker has said that the lawyer she trusted to seek her interest turned a serpent instead want to deprive her of her bona fide property by luring her into a fake sales deal.
Lawyer Christopher Cole, formerly of Halloway and Partners at No. 8 Howe Street in Central Freetown is now one of the newly government recruited lawyers at the Law Officers Department. Cole according to the woman behaved like a sheep in wolf’s clothing. “I took him as an honest young man so I decided to accept his service when he was first introduced to me,” she confided in this medium.
She said when she wanted to sell her property on Pademba Road, one Alhaji Osman Munoma Bah opted to buy it. The Fula man, she went on, was represented by his sons who are lawyers. She said they agreed on Nine Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le. 950,000,000.00) for the property. On the day of the payment, she and her daughter were invited to Alhaji Munoma where they were told to sign two separate documents.
“On the first document was indicated the sum of Le. 400, 000, 000. 00 (Four Hundred Million Leones) while on the other was recorded Le320, 000, 000. 00 (Three Hundred and Twenty Million Leones) amounting to Le 720, 000, 000. 00 being part payment for my property,” she said.
Interestingly however according to the woman, the money was not handed over to them. She said instead, the lawyers (Cole and Munoma Bah’s lawyer sons) feigned that they wanted to open an account for her so they demanded her Identity Card to open an account to deposit the sum of Le. 400, 000, 000. 00 for her. Also, she said they told her they were going to hand over the remaining Le320, 000, 000. 00 to her in cash but they never did.
“We waited for hours and during that time, Lawyer Cole and the others were held up in a room chatting in the Fula language. He later left us there and at the end of the day, we went home empty-handed and told to go back the following day. When we went back the other day, Pa Munoma’s sons told me that they have already deposited the money into my lawyer’s account.”
She said it was from that point that Lawyer Cole assumed the power of attorney and started expending the money, as she had no access to the account. The matter ended at the CID where she said Cole admitted owing her but since then nothing has come out of the matter.
Cole on the other hand has insistently denied any wrongdoing, saying the woman’s account has been exhausted. When called on the matter, he presented a pile of papers he claimed were documents indicating how he expended the money on Madam Elizabeth Coker’s directives.
In that breakdown, the lawyer claimed that on specific dates spanning from May 2020, he disbursed on behalf of Madam Coker as follows: bought Keke at Le. 25 Million on the 28th May; received 70 million cash on the 29th May; rent a place at Le. 45 Million on the 13th June; received cash of Le. 1, 700, 000. 00 on the 18th June; paid debtors on her behalf Le 50 Million on the 22nd June and another Le 20 Million paid in debt also on the 15th July all totalling Le 206, 700, 000 (Two Hundred and Six Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Leones).
Apart from the amounts indicated above, the lawyer also claimed that he further, on the instruction of the old woman paid in total sum Le 423, 300,000.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty-three Million, Three Hundred Thousand Leones) as refunds in rent to tenants and lessees affected by the sale.
Madam Elizabeth Coker remains unconvinced and she is challenging his claims. She said either she receives her Le950 million in full or the deal be scrapped as she is denying that she authorised the lawyer to deposit the money into his account in the first place. She said he took it upon himself to expend the money and even lied that he has bought another place for her.
The old woman is demanding justice but it appears the police are not treating the matter with the seriousness it deserves. “I want Justice. I want the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to look into this matter and give me my right,” she cried as she told me that the police had since promised to send the file to the AG. Cole got initially arrested by the CID when she reported the matter but was granted bail when he admitted owing the old woman on a promise to pay but had since reneged as he continues to dodge the woman.
She said since Alhaji Monuma too has told her he has no business with her and he owes her no balance, she was settling for nothing less than scrapping the deal.
“I am not in control of any account so I cannot say they have paid me for the property in full. A proper statement of account must be made available to me but since the lawyer has refused to do so, I am not doing business with Alhaji Munoma again,” she concluded.
Editor’s note: next edition we will bring Alhaji Munoma’s said of the story and more.