|Kinteh, GFA Boss|
The President of Gambia Football Association (GFA) Seedy Kinteh yesterday told the Kanifing Municipality Magistrate Court that the three Olympic officials accused of theft did not stole the D34, 000, 00 they are being accused of.
“The money is there for safe keeping,” he said, while giving his testimony before Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally on Wednesday.
The 1st Vice President of Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) Beatrice Allen, Treasurer Ousman Wadda and Accountant Muhammad Janneh are standing trial on one count of theft. They have denied any wrong doing since taking their plea in February 2011.
The GFA president is the 4th prosecution witness and when he stood in the dock, he told the court that GFA is affiliated to the GNOC. He said sometime in January 2010, he received four months allowance for Langtombong Tamba from the Olympic Committee amounting to D34, 000 during which time, Langtombong Tamba, the former president of the GNOC, was detained.
According to him, he did append his signature upon receiving the money, a document was shown to him and he identified it as the one he signed. Prosecutor Inspector Mballow tendered the document of payment voucher as an exhibit, but Defence Counsel Ida Drammeh objected to it, arguing that the documents are photocopies.
She urged the court to reject them, but Inspector Mballow on the contrary urge the court to admit them, citing Section 101 of the Evident Act.
Nonetheless, Magistrate Tabally ruled against the defence objection.
Mr. Kinteh said he took the money into his office for safekeeping. He noted that sometime in May 2010, he was called by one Omar Colley of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for grilling.
At the NIA headquarters, he said a Panel of Investigators asked him the whereabouts of the money he received on behalf of Langtombong Tamba and he told them that it is in his office.
He said the panelists requested the key to his office and he was escorted to his office by NIA Agents Omar Colley and Lamin Manneh, where the money was found in a save. He explained that after the money was found with the papers bearing his signature, the Agents called the NIA Director to inform him that the money is there.
The document was tendered and admitted as Identification 1.
Under Cross examination, Mr. Kinteh said he was asked to give a statement at the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA). He said though he received the money on behalf of Langtombong Tamba, he did not know why Langtombong was detained.
He said the State agents, Omar Colley and Lamin Manneh were surprise to find the money at his office which was meant as allowances to Langtombong Tamba from Jan-April 2009.
The defence applied to tender Identification 1 as an exhibit, but the Prosecutor was having none of that, as he argues the document is a “secondary evident” and is not in lined with Section 101 of the Evident Act, and the defence application was dismissed. Mr. Kinteh said when he was given the money to keep, treason charges where not leveled against the GNOC former president, and he was the still the president.
Defence counsel Ida Drammeh asked him whether he knew there was an election sometime this year and this election attracted a lot of interest from the people within and outside the country. But Prosecutor Mballow objected to the question, saying it was irrelevant since the issue before the court has nothing to do with an election.
Subsequently, Magistrate Tabally overrules the prosecution’s objection, Mr. Kinteh answered that he did not know whether the election attracted interested in and outside the country. The case continues on 21st April, 2011. Source – The Voice