Former GNPC staff jailed
Friday, June 22, 2012
Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, Thursday convicted and sentenced one Katib M. Fofana, a former staff of Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to a mandatory jail term of one year and six months. The convict was first arraigned on the 23rd September, 2011, on a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and abuse of office, all contrary to the Laws of The Gambia.
According to the particulars of the offence on count one, (obtaining money by false pretence), the prosecution alleged that the convict in the month August 2011, at National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan, the Republic of China on Taiwan, as a student in Civil Engineering, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of US$2, 000 dollars from Banfa Ceesay, thereby committed an offence.
The prosecution also alleged on count two that the convict in the month of August 2011, at the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan, the Republic of China on Taiwan, as a student in Civil Engineering, and being an employee of GNPC as petroleum data assistant, engaged himself seeking for employment and working without permit in contravention of the regulations governing his work place and the government of Taiwan, thereby committed an offence.
The convict pleaded guilty on count one and not guilty on count two and the court further ordered for the prosecution to go on with all the counts charge. The prosecution in a bid to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt called three witnesses and tendered several exhibits including the convict’s cautionary and voluntary statements. The convict testified as a lone witness in his defence.
The presiding magistrate after evaluating the evidence adduced before him, disclosed that he has a firm conclusion that the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt, adding that the convict was guilty of the offences charged. In his plea of mitigation, the convict urged the court to temper justice with mercy as he is a family man and has responsibilities in his extended family.
Police prosecutor Peter Mendy informed the court that the convict has a previous criminal record. He said the convict was at one time charged with stealing together with the former director of Medical and Health, Muhammed Ceesay, who was at large and was sentenced to serve a jail term of 6 years by the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.
The document showing Muhammed Ceesay’s previous conviction was admitted in court. The convict was then sentenced to a mandatory jail term of one year and six months. The jail term will run concurrently.
Author: Fatou Sowe