Apr 1, 2015, 5:06 PM
The trial continued yesterday of the former secretary general, Dr Njogu Bah, at the Banjul magistrates’ court before principal magistrate Hilary Abeke.
Njogu Bah is already serving a two-year jail term after being convicted by the special criminal court in Banjul.
The new charge stated that Dr Njogou Bah, some time in June 2013 at State House in Banjul, abused the authority of his office as secretary general and head of the civil service, by interfering with the recommendation and posting of one Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia’s permanent mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure of nomination, and thereby committed an offence.
Testifying under-cross examination, the first prosecution witness, Lamin Ceesay, told the court that it was the panel which investigated the accused person, and not him alone.
He said the panel obtained statements from Mariama Ndure-Njie, permanent secretary at the ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Yusupha Dibba, permanent secretary at the same ministry.
He did not know one Dawda Fadera, but the panel also obtained a witness statement from him.
The panel did not obtain any statement from Jainaba Jobarteh in connection with the case.
The witness was asked how the panel got the evidence that the accused person abused his office, by posting Ms Jobarteh to the mission in New York.
However, the Director of Public Prosecutions, SH Barkun, raised an objection.
The defence counsel said the question was relevant, as the witness had told the court that the charge was written by him, and that he cautioned the accused person.
However, the trial magistrates upheld the objection, and asked the defence to ask questions which were relevant to the case.
Counsel then continued, and asked whether the witness was aware of any legal opinion in the case, and witness responded in the negative.
Counsel then told him that it was the panel which made their own conclusion, by charging the accused person with abuse of office, without the benefit of a legal opinion.
The case was then adjourned to 31 March 2014, for hearing to continue.