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Defence quizzes head of investigative panel in Ex-Lower Saloum NAM & Co trial

Jul 9, 2015, 11:23 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Senior defence counsel Edward Gomez yesterday quizzed the head of the investigative panel, Modou Gaye, in the trial involving the former Lower Saloum NAM and former coordinator of National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), Pa MalickCeesay, and former NEDI accountant Ismaila Njie before Justice Abi of the Banjul High Court.

They were charged with 23 counts ranging from neglect of official duty, to disobedience of a statutory duty, economic crimes, stealing by persons in public service, making false document and uttering false documents.

“Officer, you had earlier told this court that you headed the investigation of the accused persons,” asserted counsel Gomez.

The witness responded in the positive.

“Now in doing so, did you apprise yourself with NEDI?” counsel asked.

 The witness responded in the positive.

“Are you satisfied that NEDI was properly constituted according to law?” counsel continued.

The witness replied in the positive.

“Are you equally satisfied that the accused persons were strictly complying according to financial instructions?” counsel went on.

“No,” answered the witness.

“Were you satisfied that at the very inception of NEDI the staff operating in the institution were properly constituted?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did you find out whether the accused persons were working under a contract?”

 “”They were employed as civil servants.”

“Did you find out whether there was any contract between them and the Gambia government?”

 “All I know was that they were civil servants.”

“Did you find out whether they were acting on contract with NEDI?”

“Yes, because they provided their appointment letters to the panel, and the second accused person’s own was given to us and we put it in our file; while the first accused claimed that he could not find his appointment letter.”

“In which year was it dated?”

“I can’t remember.”

“I put it to you that at the inception of NEDI, matters operated in a round circle.”

“I do not agree to that.”

“I further put it to you that the accused were volunteers at the time, and they were not paid salaries, but allowances.”

“I don’t agree to that.”

“You will also agree that the ministry responsible was not operating under Financial Instructions.”

“I may not know whether the ministry was operating as such, because we were investigating NEDI not the ministry.”

“Do you remember telling this court unequivocally that the secretary of state responsible was not compliant with Financial Instructions?”

“I did not say that. What I said was no loan should have been given by NEDI without the Secretary of State initiating it.”

“Therefore, NEDI was operating in the purview of the line ministry with violation of Financial Instructions.”

“No, NEDI was an institution of its own.”

“Officer, I put it to you that you are contradicting yourself and I will elucidate that contradiction. You told this court that the secretary of state was to initiate a loan; therefore NEDI was not an isolated institution, but an appendage of a ministry.”


At this juncture, Lawyer Gomez applied for an adjournment for him to be served with the exhibits tendered in court and to go through the said exhibits, which was granted by the court.

The case continues 9 July 2015