Monday, March 25, 2013

Tambedou denies allegations of ‘neglect’ and ‘economic crime’

In December 2012  Mr. Tambedou told a lower court "I could have fled if I wanted to" but chooses not to - in the wake of a charge of "giving false information" to President Yahya Jammeh (Photo: The Point)

Abdoulie Tambedou, a former managing director of Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Wednesday denied charges of “neglect of official duty” and “economic crime”, brought against him by the Police in Banjul, the capital.

Tambedou appeared at the Banjul Magistrates Court on March 20, 2013, where criminal charges were proffered against him. The court lacks the jurisdiction to hear economic crimes anyway.

Magistrate Dawda Jallow, presiding, ordered for Tambedou to be remanded in custody, and the case be transferred to the Office of Chief Justice for re-assignment. His counsel, Lamin S. Camara, earlier applied for bail.

Power to grant bail

“Economic crime cannot be tried at the Magistrates Court because the court does not have the jurisdiction,” he said. “But, Section 208(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC, has given the court powers to grant bail.”

Corporal Saja Sanyang, prosecuting, objected to bail. In his view, the accused is likely to tamper with investigations, which is yet to be finalized.

He referred to Section 4 and 9 of the Economic Crime (Specified Offences) Act, and Section 208(A) of the CPC, which gives the Court the power to remand any person charged with economic crime.

Banjul Port (Photo: Access Gambia)
Allegations

Police prosecutors accused Tambedou of “neglecting his official duty” to protect the funds provided for the procurement of new ferries and the rehabilitation of the old ferry fleet between April and August 2011.

They also accuse him of “intentionally and unlawfully approving different unauthorized payments amounting to D103, 943, 991.64 from a loan granted by the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), for the procurement of new ferries and the rehabilitation of the old ferry fleet”, around the same time in 2011.

This, they claim, caused “economic loss” to the Government of The Gambia. 

In December 2012, police prosecutors charged Mr Tambedou with "giving false information to a public officer". He denied the charge, and that trial is still on, according to court reporters.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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