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Commissioner Demba indicted for stealing

Mar 25, 2010, 11:41 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Commissioner Lang Demba of the Immigration Department was yesterday arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates' Court charged with stealing by clerk or servant. He stands accused of stealing US$15,625.

The particulars of the offence alleged that Mr. Demba, between the months of November 2008 to December 2009, while in Liberia on a peacekeeping mission with the Gambian police contingent, received a total sum of US$15,625 from various police officers serving in the said contingent. The money was their 10% monthly contribution to the Gambia Police Force, which he failed to account for or deliver to the Gambia Police Force.

Mr. Demba, who was in court without a lawyer, denied the charge and urged the court to grant him bail to enable him acquire the services of a lawyer.

He added that as an officer with responsibilities he would be available any time when the court needs him. He further told the court that he had been experiencing body pains for some days now, and that if he is remanded in custody it would be difficult for him.

The prosecuting officer, Chief Inspector Badjie, opposed Mr. Demba’s bail application, and urged the court to refuse him bail.

He informed the court that the prosecution witnesses are police officers engaged in other official duties, and so they could not be in court (that is, at yesterday's sitting), but would be available at the next adjournment date.

The presiding magistrate, Emmanuel Nkea, asked Commissioner Demba not to waste the court's time, and to tell the court the truth.

Commissioner Demba then confessed that he had delivered not all, but part of the money to the Gambia Police Force.

He told the court that he had his reasons for not delivering the whole sum.

Subsequently, Mr. Demba was remanded in custody, and the case was adjourned to 30th March 2010.