Accused, Prosecution’s Absence Hinders Fisheries Officer’s Trial

Accused, Prosecution’s Absence Hinders Fisheries Officer’s Trial

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The absence of both the prosecutor and the accused person has caused hindrance to the proceeding of the three-count criminal charge of neglect of official duties, abuse of office and false claims against Ebou Mass Mbaye, head of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Unit of the Department of Fisheries.

Mbaye is accused of failing to verify a bill he presented to the Office of the President, amounting to D2, 677, 600.00, equivalent to 89, 066kg of various fish species, in the month of January, 2016, in Banjul.

He is also charged for allegedly abusing the authority of his office by presenting a bill to the Office of the President, on the same day, amounting to D2, 677, 600.00, equivalent to 89, 066kg of various fish species, without the consent of his office director.

The charges further stated that Mbye on the same day presented a false bill to the Office of the President, amounting to D2, 677, 600.00, equivalent to 89,066kg of various fish species without verification. He had denied any wrongdoing since the start of the trial.

It could be recalled that the accused person is charged with three counts ranging from neglect of official duties, abuse of office and false claims by official contrary to the laws of The Gambia.

When the case was called before acting Principal Magistrate Kebba Baldeh at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on Monday, only the accused person’s defence attorney, Lawyer E Sanneh, was present in court.

In the last adjourned date when the case was before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham, the police prosecutor Inspection S Sanyang applied adjournment to confirm information he received that the accused person was reinstated.

Lawyer A Fatty, one of the accused person’s defence counsels said the defence received a letter dated 7th June 2016  signed by the permanent secretary at the Personnel Management Office (PMO) that the accused person has be reinstated as principal fisheries officer with effect from 6th June 2016.

The case is adjourned to 26th October 2016 at 10.00 for hearing.

by Amie Susso