Police prosecutors in Banjul yesterday filed an amended charge of negligence and abuse of office against the 30 former Government officials including Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Secretaries before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecution indicted Abdoulie Jallow, Aussainou Jobarteh, Dr Cherno Omar Barry, Abdoulie KM Jallow, Abdoulie Jallow, Lamin Camara, Lamin Sanneh, Tijan Jeng, Jerreh Sanyang, Malang Jammeh, Momodou Lamin Jammeh, Lamin Sisey, Masaikou M. Marong, John Belford, Yaya Drammeh, Ebrima Sanneh, Sambou Nget, Kebba Faal, Nfamara Dampha, Lamin Mai Touray, Lamin Juwara, Saikou Sidibeh, Siaka Saidyleigh, Momodou C Joof, Alieu Jammeh, Abdoulie M Cham, Morro Krubally, Kantong Jallow, Buba Sanyang and Kebba S. Touray of neglecting their duties as Minister, Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Chief Drivers and drivers of their various Government Ministries and Departments to engage the services of a qualified mechanics/engineers to assess and diagnose the conditions of vehicles under their purview thus leading to wrong identification of vehicles for auction between the year 2014 and 2016 in Banjul and diverse places.
They are also accused of abusing their offices by identifying government vehicles for auction knowing that they have no expertise or knowledge to do that leading to their identification of wrong vehicles for auction.
When the case was called, Inspector S Sanyang, the police prosecutor applied to amend and substitute the previous charge sheet under Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code. His application was granted by the magistrate but the accused persons didn’t take their pleas.
One of their defence counsels L S Camara said the counts are jointly charged and that 12 of the accused persons are absent in court. He insisted that the matter cannot proceed in the absence of the accused persons and counts 2 is a repetition, saying accused persons’ consent is needed in the absence of which the case cannot proceed.
Counsel Camara suggested for the prosecution to put their house in order on the next adjourned date. He equally applied for the prosecution to provide the defence with the photocopies of the voluntary and cautionary statements of the accused persons alongside other documents and witness statements they would intend to rely on in their case.
Inspector Sanyang maintained that they are applying for a short date for them to put their house in order and to send the file to the Attorney General’s Chamber for consent.
The court ordered the prosecution to return the accused persons who are yet to take their pleas to wherever they were taken from.
The case is adjourned to 21st September, 2016 for plea taking and hearing.
by Lama S Jallow