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ü Ensa Badjie to spend life behind bars
x State exhorts for trial in absentia in Government-Pristine Suit
King Colley, seven others charged with economic crime, remanded
v D20 million bail bond for local Businessman
Farafenni Military Camp Attacker Joins Death Row
The High Court in the Gambian capital, Banjul on July 27, 2011 presided over by Emmanuel Amadi, found guilty and sentenced Mr Abdoulie Sonko to death.
Sonko was standing trial since 2003 on nine counts (three on treason and six on murders) in relation to the 1996 Farafenni Military Camp attack.
On Wednesday, Justice Emmanuel Amadi said he believes that Sonko was among those who escaped from the attack, and he was the one at large.
According to him, Sonko was a member of the Sofa Association, whose aim was to overthrow the Government of the Gambia by attacking the Farafenni Army camp in the North Bank Region, close to the Senegalese border.
Justice Amadi ruled that he sentenced Sonko to life imprisonment on count one, two and three. He handed him a death sentence on count four, five, six, seven, eight and nine.
Sonko, a native of Berending village in the Lower Niumi District, North Bank Region, has always denied any wrong doing.
During the course of the trial which dragged for eight years, the prosecution called six witnesses to prove, while Mr Sonko entered his defence and did not call any witness.
The Judge said “the prosecution has proven their case beyond reasonable doubt. The convict and his co-accused conspired to overthrow the Government of the Gambia by unlawful means by attacking Farafenni Army camp on 8 November 1996 which led to the death of six military officers”.
Ensa Badjie to spend life behind bars
Erstwhile Inspector General of Police Ensa Badjie was on Friday convicted to life imprisonment on two counts of robbery; he was also sentenced to 37 years on five other related charges and acquitted on six others.
Justice Joseph Enwa Ikpala of the Criminal Division of the Banjul High Court handed Badjie various terms of imprisonment including 7, 14, 7, 2 and 7 years respectively in five other related offences.
His co-accused, ASP Ali Ceesay was also sentenced to a fine of thirty thousand dalasis (D30, 000.00) in default to serve three years imprisonment.
Both have earlier denied any wrong doing in a 15-count charge including conspiracy to commit felony, robbery with violence, receiving stolen property, aiding or abetting prisoners to escape from lawful custody, official corruption among others.
During the course of the trial, the prosecution called 11 witnesses, among them, Soriba Conteh, an armed robber, Pateh Jallow, erstwhile director NDEA, Muhammed Darboe, also a convict, Fatou Joto Mendy, Tony Baba Khan proprietor of City Pub, Dodou Janneh, a convict, Abdoulie Sowe a police officer, Landing Bojang, also a police officer among others, to prove their case.
The defence manages to call five witnesses to prove their case. However, the case was close by the court, though the defence said they have more witnesses to call.
Defence counsel Borry Touray failed to address the court and the judge decided to proceed with the judgment.
In a plea of mitigation, defence counsel Borry Touray called on the court to tamper justice with mercy, noting that the convicts are first time offenders and have served the state for a long period.
He also noted that they are family men with wives and children whose welfare is taken care of by convicts, however, Justice Ikpala said to whom much is given much is expected. “Truth was given to Ensa Badjie, but he betrayed that truth and I cannot have mercy for this type of people,” he said.
State exhorts for trial in absentia in Government-Pristine Suit
The Director of Special Litigation Daniel O. Kulo has told the Special Criminal Court presided by Joseph Enwa Ikpala that negotiation for an out-of-court-settlement between the State and Pristine Consulting Company has failed.
The Company, its executive director Abdourahman Touray, and the chief technological officer Mr Assan Touray are standing trial on four counts: two counts on “economic crime”, one on “conspiracy” and another on “theft”.
The charges emanate from a contract the Government awarded to the Company, for the production of Biometric National ID Cards and other official documents. Pristine and its management had earlier on filed a civil suit against the Gambia Government; however, the later in turn brought criminal charges against the Company, its executive director and its chief technological officer.
While Mr Abdourahman Touray is on the run, Mr Assan Touray has since denied any wrong doing.
On Tuesday, D. O. Kulo told the court that there are two other parties to the case and that the state is seeking an order from the court pursuant to Section 7 of the Economic and Finance Crime Act.
This Section empowers the court to try the accused person in absentia, who are pristine consulting company and Abdourahman Touray. He urges the court to proceed with the trial.
However, defence counsel Ida Drammeh argued that Kulo’s application is not born by Section 7 of the Economic and Finance Crime Act. “If the application is granted, it is contrary to law,” she said, while urging the court to dismiss the application.
But in his ruling, Justice Ikpala said the prosecutor’s application is proper and competent, and that he upholds the application. He ordered for the trial to commence while the Company and its executive director remain at large. Hearing continues on October 13, 2011.
Particulars of offence on count one stated that Pristine consulting, Assan Touray, Abdourahman Touray between 20 April 2009 and 10 March 2011, being engaged in the processing of Biometric ID card, produced other official documents sold and intentionally withheld the sum of twenty-seven million, six hundred and one thousand and ninety dalasi (27, 601,090) and thereby caused loss to the government.
Count two: Pristine consulting, Assan Touray, Abdourahman Touray being engaged by the Gambia government to produce and supply finger scanning machine and accessories, intentionally failed to produce and supply as required and thereby acted in a way detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.
Count three: Pristine consulting, Assan Touray, Abdourahman Touray between 20 April 2009 and March 2011 conspired to defraud the public by printing and selling Gambia biometric ID cards, driving licence and residential permits, all of which contained biometric data in a chip.
Count four: Pristine consulting, Assan Touray, Abdourahman Touray between 20 April 2009, receive on behalf of the government of the Gambia twenty-seven million, six hundred and one thousand and ninety dalasi and converted it to their personal used.
On the other hand, Pristine consulting company also files a civil suit against Gambia Government.
They are claiming the sum of US$ 437, 798.00, being infrastructural cost agreed to be paid in a contract between them and The Gambia Government, the sum of GMD 26, 850.897.00 being the contractual deficit based on the minimum sums guaranteed under the contract and the actual documents produced as at 31st March 2010.
The sum of GMD 18,865, 717.00, being the contractual deficit based on the minimum sums guaranteed under the contract and the actual documents produced as at 31st March 2011 and the interest rate of 24% per annum from the date the sums became due under the contract.
King Colley, seven others charged with economic crime, remanded
Assistant Superintendent of Police Lamin King Colley, and seven others were arraigned and charged with five counts on economic crime, conspiracy, forgery and abused of office on Wednesday at the Banjul Magistrate Court.
The other accused persons are Musa Jobe of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Tida Badjie of the Gambia Police Force, Ousman Manjang of Gam-Star Insurance Company, Zainey Faal, Abdou Willan of Gam-Star Insurance Company, and Temple Godson, a Nigerian.
They could not take their plea on July 27, as the District Court lacks the jurisdiction to try economic crimes, however, Magistrate Manyima Bojang, presiding, ordered for their remand at the State’s maximum security wing, the Mille II Central Prison until they are arraigned at the High Court.
The particulars of offence on Count one stated that Ousman Manjang, Zainey Faal, Abdou Willan, Musa Jobe, Tida Badjie, Assistant Superintendent Lamin King Colley and Temple Godson, a Nigerian, between 2010 and 2011 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia conspired among themselves to defraud the Government of its revenue.
Count two: Ousman Manjang, Zainey Faal, Abdou Willan, Musa Jobe, Tida Badjie, Assistant Superintendent Lamin King Colley and Temple Godson, a Nigerian National, between 2010 and 2011 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia intentionally did an act which was detrimental to the economy of the Gambia.
Count three: Ousman Manjang, Zainey Faal, Abdou Willan, Musa Jobe, Tida Badjie, Assistant Superintendent Lamin King Colley and Temple Godson, a Nigerian National, between 2010 and 2011 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, with intent to defraud the government of The Gambia, forged road tax discs and vehicle license receipt book which was detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.
Count four: Ousman Manjang, Zainey Faal, Abdou Willan, Musa Jobe, Tida Badjie, Assistant Superintendent Lamin King Colley and Temple Godson, a Nigerian National, between 2010 and 2011 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, with intent to defraud the State had in possession a printing machine for the purpose of forging road tax discs and vehicle license receipt books which was detrimental to the economy of the Gambia.
Count five: ASP Lamin King Colley, Musa Jobe, Musa Jobe and Tida Badjie between 2010 and 2011 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, being employed in the public service and by virtue of your position as officers of the Gambia Police Force and GRA officer respectively abused your various offices by procuring and receiving false road tax discs and vehicle license receipt books which was detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.
Court slam 10 years imprisonment on ex-soldier
The lower Court in Banjul presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo on Monday convicted and sentence Lamin Darboe, an erstwhile army officer to ten years imprisonment and a fine of D1 million, in default to serve an additional five years in prison.
Darboe was found guilty of being in possession of prohibited drugs (cannabis sativa) for the purpose of trafficking by the District Court in the Gambian capital, Banjul.
He earlier begged the Court to temper justice with mercy, saying he is a young man, married with four children and has lost his job as a soldier.
When the verdict was reached by the Court, family members resorted to tears.
The particulars of offence stated that Lamin Darboe on or about 2nd October 2010 at Sololo Security check point near Bansang, Central River Region was found being in possession of prohibited drug, cannabis sativa and thereby committed an offence.
D20 million bail bond for local Businessman
Mam Sait-Njie, a local businessman was on Friday granted bail in the sum of 20 million dalasis by Justice Joseph Enwa Ikpala of the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul.
Njie is charged with economic crime and was first arraigned at the Kanifing District Magistrate Court when Magistrate Tabally, presiding, ordered for the case to be moved to the High Court since the lower court lacks the jurisdiction to try the accused.
On Friday May 29, 2011, defence counsel Badou Conteh informed the court that he filed a motion for bail dated 26th July 2011 and served the prosecution.
He said the motion is backed a 25-paragraph of affidavit and intended to rely on all the 25 paragraphs especially paragraph 15, 16, 18 and 19 respectively. He said the applicant is ready to pay any amount of money to be release on bail.
When he took his turn, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution SH. Barhum said he did not object to the application for bail, but before the court will grant the application, it should consider the amount of money involved.
Justice Ikpala, presiding, granted a D20 million bail bond to the accused with one Gambian surety who must swear in the affidavit and owns a property within the Greater Banjul Area.
Mam Sait-Njie is charged with economic crime contrary to section 5(b) of the Criminal Act Cap 13: 07 Volume III law of The Gambia. The particular Mam Sait-Njie sometime in the year 2009 at the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) and diverse places in the city of Banjul, in the Gambia, you sold 300 plots of land to SSHFC at D30, 000.00 without paying capital gains tax to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) amounting to D4, 500,000.00 causing loss of income to the state, thereby committed an offence.
Erstwhile GRTS-reporter to open defence: July 28
|Dodou Sanneh (pix: Gambiaaffairs)|
Dodou Sanneh, a former reporter for the State-owned broadcaster, Gambia Radio and Television Service (GRTS) is expected to open his defence in the “false information charge” against him on July 28, 2011.
On Monday, the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Manyima Bojang, granted the accused (Dodou) one week to prepare for his defence. He had earlier applied for two weeks in order to consult with his counsel, Borry Touray.
He has since March 2011, denied any wrong doing.
The prosecution has called three witnesses: the Director General of GGRTS Modou Sanyang, Senior Programme Manager and GRTS Anchor Kebba Dibba, and a police officer to prove their case.
Mr. Dodou Sanneh, the accused, had his service termination by the by the State-broadcaster in 2006 for alleged bias reportage while on assignment to cover rallies of the main opposition party, the United Democratic Party (UDP).
He took the decision as unlawful termination and wrote a petition to the Office of the President, from which a charge of “giving false information to a public officer” emanates.
© SOURCE: The Voice Newspaper