Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Agric officials charged with stealing, negligence pleads innocent

Officials at the Micro Finance Promotion Centre, MFPC, of the Ministry of Agriculture Tuesday pleaded not guilty to eight charges of negligence of official duty, stealing and disobedience.

MFPC’s Executive Director Sariyang MK Jobarteh and accountant Abie Samba, training manager Alfusainey Jobarteh and account clerk Moriba Danso were not represented by a lawyer when they appeared at the Kanifing Magistrates Court.

MK Jobarteh and Samba are accused of negligence by unlawfully procuring goods worth D150, 000 without recourse to the 3 quotations as required by The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) Act; failing to number payment vouchers to avoid vague expenditure; unlawfully disbursing loans of D3, 372, 466 without obtaining licence from the central bank.

They are also accused of ‘disobedience to statutory duty’ for unlawfully buying goods worth D816, 950 without competitive bidding from various suppliers. The police said this exposes the MFPC to risks of buying less quality goods.

Both MK Jobarteh and Samba are accused of stealing D490, 000 given by the Social Development Fund, SDF, for capacity building and also D72, 000 – the cost of a motorbike refunded by automobile company Shyben A. Madi & Sons.

In a separate charge, MFPC’s executive director is alleged to have been running a financial intermediation without a licence. He is said to have managed and operated a line of credit by issuing farm implements and cash loans with interest – in the name of Gambia River Basin Development Organisation.

The police also accuse all four officials of failing to keep proper records of MFPC activities.  
Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally, presiding, granted bail to Sariyang MK Jobarteh and Abie Samba in the sum of D5 million with two Gambian sureties while Alfusainey Jobarteh and Moriba Danso get a D250, 000 bail with one Gambian surety.

The trial is adjourned till July 30, 2014.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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