The latest accused person who was added in the economic crime case against Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Gambia’s former Minister of Petroleum and 8 other former top government officials, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of economic crime and conspiracy preferred against him by state prosecutors, yesterday.
The trial that is ongoing before Justice O Ottaba at the the High Court in Banjul proceeded with the court granting the application of the prosecution for the substitution of the previous indictment with the amended one, which included Madun Sanyang as one of the accused persons. Madun alongside his co-accused persons had took their pleas on the amended counts 1 and 3.
On count one of economic crime, it alleged that Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Momodou O.S Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena, Seedy Kanyi, Muntaga Momodou Sallah and Madun Sanyang sometime in 2015 in Banjul and other diverse places whileserving in their various capacities as public officers by willful act or omission caused economic loss to the government of The Gambia at the tune of Seven Million and Sixty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty ($7, 069, 880.70) equivalent to three hundred and twenty nine million four hundred fifty six thousand, four hundred forty one Dalasi (D329, 456, 441.00) by causing the Government of The Gambia to make payment to March Trading which acts is injurious, detrimental and damaging to the economy of the Gambia.
On count three, the prosecution alleged Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Momodou O.S Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena, in the same year and places while serving in their various capacities as public officers conspired amongst themselves to commit a felony to wit: by willful act or omission cause economic loss to the government of the Gambia.
Prior to their plea taking was the continuation of cross-examination of PW1 (chief inspector Bakary Darboe) by the defence lawyers E E Chime and C E Mene for the 6th and 7th accused persons respectively. During which PW1 told the court that he obtained the cautionary statement of the 6th accused (Muntaga Momodou Sallah).
He informed the court that the 6th accused person was dismissed before any transaction leading to the case was made but he cannot remember seeing the dismissal letter nor does he know if his co-panelists demanded and or saw the said letter.
During cross examination of PW1 by Lawyer Mene the court was informed that apart from the opening paragraph in the cautionary statement of the 7th accused person all the other paragraphs numbering 1 to 12 are in response to the questions in the questionnaire he earlier mention in his evidence.
PW1 further said that he cannot remember any of the questions in the questionnaire but each paragraph in the cautionary statement is a response to a question in the questionnaire and that they did not do any further investigation after the answers were given to the question they raised in the questionnaire.
Meanwhile PW1 was recalled to give further evidence in chief and that will be followed by cross examination and possible re-examination, as he is said to have obtained the cautionary statement of Madun Sanyang.
Hearing continues today.
by Fatou Sowe