#Article (Archive)

Business tycoon arraigned for over D23M alleged theft

Nov 28, 2014, 10:16 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Yaya Pito Kassama, a Gambian business tycoon, was recently arraigned before Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court for stealing.

Police prosecutors accused Mr Kassama that between May 2013 and 2014 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, he converted US$563,230.80 (equivalent to D23, 233,270.5) into his own use being the proceeds of ten containers of sardines supplied to him for sale by Premium Ventures Inc. Plc., and thereby committed an offence.

Prosecuting officer Corporal Alieu Faye told the court the prosecution was objecting to bail for the accused person on the grounds that the sum involved was huge.

He also told the court that the investigation is ongoing, and if the accused person was granted bail, he could interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses.

In response, defence counsel Uzuma Achigbue alongside Dayoh Small, told the court that he believed the investigation into the matter was over and the accused person is a family man who would not abscond or interfere with the prosecution witnesses.

“I therefore urge the court to grant the accused person bail as the alleged offence committed is bailable,” he said.

Delivering the ruling, the trial Magistrate Dawda Jallow told the court that the alleged offence committed is a bailable offence.

He said any accused arraigned before the court shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.

Bail is a right for any accused person, if the alleged offence committed is a bailable one, the magistrate went on, and granted bail to the accused based on the following conditions: the accused person is to provide two Gambian sureties each of whom shall enter into recognizance of D5 million, and the sureties must deposit title deeds of the properties situated within the Greater Banjul Area, and depose to an affidavit of means.

They must also deposit their national identity cards to the registrar of the court, and the accused person shall deposit his travel documents with the same registrar.

The case was adjourned till 3 December 2014, for hearing.