Six guilty on 145 counts
Monday, December 17, 2007
Six men, including a military and a prison officer, were, on Friday, convicted after they pleaded guilty to 145 counts, which involved conspiracy, attempted theft, forgery, altering bank cheques and stealing over D4 million from the Department of Treasury of The Gambia.
Senior Magistrate Kayode H Olajubutu of the Banjul Magistrates Court, sentenced the first accused person, Baboucarr Baldeh, a military officer, to 12 years imprisonment, and Marcel Jammeh, a prison officer attached to the Treasury to 13 years and nine months in jail. The accomplices, identified as Alieu Bah, Sarjo Bah, Edrissa Colley, and Sulayman Bojang, were given 42-month, 18-month, 32-month and 20-month jail terms respectively, all with hard labour with no option of a fine.
In their plea for mitigation, the accused persons begged the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that they are young men, married with children and the bread winners of their families.
Handing down his judgement in a crowded courtroom, Senior Magistrate Olajubutu said the court had listened carefully to the mitigation pleas of the accused and the facts given by Emmanuel Fagbenle, director of public prosecution.
However, he described the offences as "very serious", which according to him, is determined by the gravity of the case. He ruled that the defrauding activity of the accused persons were well-planned with the aim of squandering the state treasury to easily enrich themselves.
Author: by Buya Jammeh