A vacation Judge at the High Court in Banjul has refused the bail applications of three of the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation officials and ordered for them to be remanded pending investigations into their matter. He said the applicants’ bail application lacked sufficient reason(s) for granting them bail.
Justice Otaba’s decision to refuse bail to Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Momodou Badjie and Nuha Touray was contained in a ruling he delivered on the bail applications made by their defence counsel.
The applications were supported by affidavits and various paragraphs invoking the court to exercise its discretion in their favour by granting them bail.
The judge reviewed each of the bail applications starting with Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, a former Minister of Petroleum followed by Momodou Badjie, former Managing Director of the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation Board of Directors; and Nuha Touray, former secretary to cabinet.
The judge went through the history of the applications in which the applicants relied on various legal provisions and cases. The applicants cited Section 19 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia, Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Section 36 of the Economic Crime, Specified Offences Act to back their applications.
They also made reference to cases such as Sulayman versus Commissioner of Police, Essa Badjie versus the State and Abdoulie Ceesay versus the State.
The vacation judge also made reference to the opposition made by the Director of Public Prosecution, who urged the court to refuse bail to the accused persons on grounds that investigations into the matter is ongoing.
by Sanna Jawara