Ebou Badjie, the assistant registrar at the General Registry office of the Ministry of Justice Tuesday testified as the first prosecution witness in the three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining goods by false pretence and theft against Tina Faal before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
In his testimony, the witness said he is working at the office of the Registrar of Deed under General Registry office of the Ministry of Justice and residing in Gunjur Village, Kombo South. He said he does not personally know the accused person.
When asked whether his office registered any Power of Attorney on 28th April 2014 bearing the number: 196/2014/volume B3PA, Badjie responded in the negative and said that registration was done on 7th May, 2014.
Badjie said some of the conditions attached to the registration of Power of Attorney are that it has to be endorsed by a legal minded person, a Justice of Peace, Notary Public or lawyer. He said it must also have a Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) stamp and a fee of D500.
Prior to Jarju’s testimony, Tina Faal’s defence counsel, C Gaye said her client was arrested and detained at the Mile 2 Central Prison since 8th August, 2016 and she has been in detention up to yesterday.
Counsel Gaye submitted that on 28th July, 2016, Tina was granted a court bail on certain conditions which, she said the accused person fulfilled with two Gambian sureties who entered into recognizance and deposited two document title deeds in their names with the court registrar.
She argued that she is not aware of any fresh charge preferred against the accused person or any court order for her detention at the Mile 2 Central Prison.
The Police prosecuting officer, S Sanyang said the defence’s story is new to him. He said it is not to his knowledge that the accused person was under detention, saying the only thing he knew is that the matter was adjourned for hearing.
But defence counsel Gaye maintained that the fact that the prosecutor does not know or is not aware that the accused person was under detention should not stop the court from giving orders for bail.
Counsel Gaye further argued that her client is in custody in accordance with the previous orders of bail, saying if the court is minded, it can hear direct evidence from the accused person in respect to her arrest.
In his ruling, Magistrate Cham said it is a trite law that orders of court or law are meant to be obeyed, saying if the accused person fulfils the bail conditions, she is supposed to be on bail.
Readers could recall that the accused person is standing trial on three counts of criminal offences ranging from Conspiracy , Obtaining goods by false pretence and theft contrary to the laws of the Gambia.
A former nominated National Assembly Member, Tina Faal is said to have conspired with one Babanding Sissoho, to wit, sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft to one Alhagie Omar Keita with intent to defraud sometime between 2014 and 2016 in Banjul and diverse places. The aircraft is said to be the property of O’ Corporation Company Ltd.
With intent to defraud, Mrs Faal is also charged for selling various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff Sale to one Alhagie Omar Keita when she fully knew or had reason to believe that the said flight was sold by the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction.
On count three, she is said to have, with intent to permanently deprive through fraudulence, stolen and sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff sale to Alhagie Omar Keita when she fully knew or had reason to believe that the said flight was bought by O’ Corporation Company from the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction. She had denied culpability of all the charges.
The case is adjourned to 18th August for hearing.
by Lama S Jallow