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Defence urges court to acquit and discharge GNOC officials

May 24, 2011, 12:33 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Lawyer Ida Drammeh, the defenc counsel in the GNOC case, on Monday urged Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court to discharge and acquit Beatrice Allen, Ousman Wadda and Muhammed Janneh, all GNOC officials, charged with stealing D34,000 which was meant for the payment of allowances to former GNOC president Lang Tombong Tamba.

This followed a no-case-to-answer submission made by the defence counsel.

When the case was announced, the new prosecuting officer, Inspector Darboe, rose and told the court that their office was making all possible arrangements so that Inspector Mballow would continue with the case.

But Magistrate Tabally said that the case had been dragging, and could not grant another adjournment.

Inspector Darboe rose again and told the court that he did not have another witness present in court.

Magistrate Tabally reminded the prosecuting officer that the case was adjourned at the last sitting, at the instance of the prosecution.

He subsequently declared the prosecution's case closed.

The defence counsel, Ida Drammeh, rose and told the court that she was going to make a no-case submission.

She said it was her submission that the prosecution had not proved any of the ingredients of the offence charged.

She stated that the offence is stealing by clerk contrary to section 258 of the CPC, adding that the particulars of offence alleged that the accused were employees of GNOC and stole D34,000 which they falsely claimed to have been allowances due to Lang Tombong Tamba.

She further stated that the said money was the property of GNOC.

"I submit that it was not proved that D34,000 was stolen in the first instance, and it was not also proved that any of the accused persons falsely claimed that  the allowances were due to Lang Tombong Tamba," the defence counsel said.

Ida Drammeh argued that, on the contrary, evidence from the prosecution witnesses showed very clearly that D34,000 was not stolen by anyone, and that the D34,000 was in fact allowances due to Lang Tombong Tamba by virtue of his office as president of GNOC.

"The prosecution witnesses proved without doubt the innocence of the accused persons," the defence counsel argued.

At this juncture, she cited the evidence of GNOC executive director Lawrence Bruce and Seedy Kinteh, president of the Gambia Football Association (GFA).

The defence counsel further submitted that, because the GFA had sponsored Lang Tombong Tamba as their candidate to the GNOC election, Seedy Kinteh received D24,000 on his behalf, adding that the said money was kept in Seedy Kinteh's safe.

She stated that when the NIA questioned Seedy Kinteh, they recovered all the money in his safe, where it was kept.

At this juncture, the defence counsel urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused persons.

Inspector Darboe applied for an adjournment to reply.

The case was subsequently adjourned till 31 May 2011, for the prosecution to reply to the no-case submission made by the defence counsel.