Inspector S Sanyang the prosecuting officer in the ongoing criminal trial involving the Inspector General of Police against thirty former government officials on Wednesday applied for an adjournment in the case in order to put the prosecution’s house in order.
Officer Sanyang made this application at Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Omar Cham on the grounds that the case file was sent to the Attorney General’s chamber for consent to continue with the case. He went on to crave the court’s indulgence for an adjournment but his application was opposed by the defence Lawyer E Sanneh for 14 out of the 30 accused persons who stated the conduct of the prosecution in the case amounts to abuse of process.
Lawyer Sanneh further argued that for the prosecution to file the charges before the court, it mere indicates that they have evidence to proceed with the case. And that the individuals charged were senior government civil servants who have served the government of the Gambia well.
Sanneh further submitted that that it is 23 days since the charges were filed against his clients and the prosecution needs to handle the matter with care and speed. He continued to state that in the circumstance he would ask the court to grant a short date and order the prosecution to proceed with the case with urgency.
Defence Lawyer O M M Njie for two of the accused persons equally raise the issue of the repeated irregularities in the charges before the court and said that prosecution require a short date in order to put their house in order.
The 30 embattled top Government officials namely; 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 used to hold positions such as Minister, permanent secretary, deputy permanent secretary, Directors and Principal Assistant Secretaries, Chief drivers and drivers.
They are standing trial on two counts of criminal offences ranging from neglect of official duty and abuse of office, in which the prosecution alleged that they between the year 2014 and 2016 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in their various employments in Government Ministries and departments neglected their duties 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.
The prosecution further alleged that they abused their offices by identifying government vehicles for auction knowing that they have no expert knowledge to do so, leading to their identifying the wrong vehicles for auction.
The case was adjourned to 10th October 2016 for hearing.
By Lama S Jallow