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Defence closes case in Gumbo Touray’s trial

Aug 29, 2012, 9:32 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Lawyer Badou S.M. Conteh yesterday announced the closure of the defence case in the ongoing trial involving Gumbo Ali Touray, former Director of International Affairs at the University of The Gambia, UTG, before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Tawio Ade Alagbe.

Touray is standing trial on a one-count charge of giving false information to a public officer.

Counsel told the court that 5 more witnesses from the UTG were willing and ready to come and testify to the court, noting that in order to save the court’s time and also in this case, everything was documented.

He said, as a result, the defence applied to close their case here. 

In testifying under cross-examination, defence witness Dr. Lamin Sidibeh told the court that, since the inception of the UTG, there were only three professors who headed the UTG.

He said Professor Ekong was the first, then Professor Stigen, a Norwegian national, and Professor Muhammed O. Kah, the current vice chancellor.

“I was contracted at the UTG in September 2003 as a lecturer. In July 2012 I received a letter from the current management that my service was not going to be renewed, which was not proper, because it did not go through the council,” he told the court.

Asked by the prosecuting officer whether he had re-applied for his contract to be renewed, Dr Sidibeh told the court that he did re-apply because he wanted to contribute his part to national development.

He noted that the other reason for his application was that students treasured his teaching, and that also motivated him to re-apply.

Further asked who conducted the meetings at the UTG, Dr Sidibeh told the court that the chairman needed to organise the meetings, but the professor could also suggest if there were issues to be discussed.

Asked again whether he knew the number of people Professor Kah recruited at the UTG, Dr Sibideh said: “I did not know, I am not at the human resource directorate.”

However, the prosecutor put it to him that Professor Kah recruited 150 people into the UTG who were not his relatives or friends.

Dr Sibideh told the court under cross-examination that he was promoted to be the Dean of Faculty of Law for Students Affairs, but was verbally appointment.

He said Dr. Abubaccar Senghore is the Acting Dean of Law Faculty.

Asked whether the accused person was appointment by the council of the UTG, Dr. Sidibeh told the court that the accused person was appointed by the council well before Professor Kah came to the UTG.

When asked who the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the UTG is, he said Dr Jah was the Deputy Vice Chancellor and was responsible for admin. and finance at the UTG.

When it was put to him that Professor Kah did not only appoint his relatives and friends at the UTG, which they called the University of “Mboka”, Dr. Sidbbeh told the court that the University of “Mboka” had been confirmed in the NDEA report, so there was nothing to dispute about it.

The case was adjourned till 19 September 2012.

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