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Another agric project coordinator charged with economic crime

Sep 17, 2015, 10:30 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Police prosecutors in Banjul have preferred an economic crime charge against the Rural Finance Project coordinator, Yusupha Nyassi, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, before senior Magistrate Abdoulie Fatty.

The bill of indictment presented before the court stated that Yusupha Nyassi, some time in 2011 and 2013 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, being an employee of the Rural Finance Project (RFP), allocated to himself and benefitted from a monthly fuel allowance amounting to D672,500 without approval from the project steering committee, causing economic loss to the Government of The Gambia.

The prosecuting officer, Constable 1519 Corra, then applied for the matter to be transferred to the High Court on the grounds that the offence with which the accused person has been charged is economic crime, a specific offence the lower court “lacks thejurisdiction” to hear.

He said the prosecution was praying to the court for the accused person to be remanded in prison custody at the State Central Prisons Mile 2.

He added that the investigation into the matter was not complete, and there was probability that the accused person might jump bail if granted.

Delivering the ruling, the trial magistrate told the court that after he had listened to the submission of the prosecution, he agreed with him that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case pursuant to section 62(1) of the CPC and section 9 of the economic crime Act 1994.

He subsequently ordered the case to be transferred to the high court, which has the proper jurisdiction to try the accused person.

He said that on the issue of bail, he had noted the objection raised by the police prosecutor to support the position for not granting the accused person bail.

“I have averred my mind to both section 99 of the CPC and 208 A of the CPC,” he said.

He added that section 8(1)(a) of economic crime Act 1994 provides that the court may exercise its discretional powers to grant an accused bail if the surety and the accused person provide such security, and the court deems fit to grant him bail.

He consequently admitted the accused to a bail of D1 million with two Gambian sureties who should depose to an affidavit of means.

He said the sureties shall enter into recognizance of the said D1 million.

The bail condition further stated that one of the sureties shall be the legal equitable owner/proprietor of a piece of land or property situated within the jurisdictions of Banjul, Kanifing Municipal Council and West Coast Region, but not beyond Brikama.

Such a surety should provide his/her tittle deeds as security not less than the amount in the recognizance, he said.

The condition further stipulated that the accused person should not associate himself directly or indirectly with any of the relevant persons associated with the investigation.

The accused person should report to the Banjul Police Station every Monday, and should also surrender his passport and identification card to the police.