State fails to serve defence in alleged D7M fraud, economic crime case

Friday, March 06, 2015
The trial in the D7 million alleged fraud and economic crime case involving seven men and a woman failed to proceed on Wednesday before Justice Abi of the Banjul High Court.

The case did not proceed because of the failure of the state to serve the defence counsel with charge sheets, as ordered by the court.

The accused persons are Cherno Hamidou Savage, Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Mansa Bah, Ousman Sowe, Sheikh Dawda York, Alpha Kanteh, Abdou Camara, Kemo Fatty, and Buba Bah (who is at large).

When the case was called, the court was informed that the 1st accused was not represented by counsel.

Counsel Mathew, S.M Tambedou, E.A Gomez, MB Johnson, Counsel Marong and Moses Richards represented the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th accused persons.

State counsel A.M. Yusuph said the case was set for plea taking.

However, the defence counsel brought to the attention of the court that they were not served with the charge sheet by the state, as ordered by the court.

They said if the state failed to follow the order of the court to serve the defence with the charge sheet, they would not be able to advise their clients, which is their constitutional right to a fair hearing.

It was now in court that the state was honouring the order of the court, when they should have been served earlier to enable them sit with their clients to advise them, they said.

Moses Richards said he was craving the indulgence of the court to adjourn to two weeks, because he would have a matter in Mansakonko.

The trial judge then adjourned the case to 23 March 2015, for plea-taking and hearing.

The particulars of offence in count one stated that the accused persons, Cherno Hamidou Savage, Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Mansa Bah, Ousman Sowe, Sheikh Dawda York, Alpha Kanteh, Abdou Camara, Kemo Fatty, and Buba Bah at large, between December 2013 and March 2014 in the Kanifing Municipality and diverse places, conspired to defraud one Abdoulie Bittaye and his partners of D7,465,000.

Count two stated that the accused persons on the same date, place and time by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained from Abdoulie Bittaye and his partners D7,465,000, with the representation that they were to sell 50 kilograms of gold, which representation they knew was false and thereby committed an offence.

Count three stated that the accused persons on the same date, place and time being residents of The Gambia and in the course of a business transaction, that is, selling alleged gold to Abdoulie Bittaye, whilst dealing with the Gambia Revenue Authority declared only forty-one million, four hundred and seventy-five thousand dalasis instead of fifty-nine million, two hundred and fifty thousand dalasis, intentionally causing economic loss of one million, seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand, five hundred dalasis, “which is injurious” to the economy of The Gambia. 

Author: Halimatou Ceesay