Oct 28, 2019, 1:00 PM
The Special Criminal Court recently convicted and sentenced one Ebrima Bandeh to a fine of D100,000 in default to serve 3 years in prison with hard labour on count one, and was also fined D50,000 in default to serve 2 years in prison with hard labour on count two.
Both sentences are to run concurrently.
Meanwhile, the court acquitted and discharged Adama Ceesay and Sheikh Gaye on all the counts against them.
In his judgement, Justice Emmanuel Nkea stated that the information filed dated 17 March 2009, and the accused persons herein were jointly and severally charged with four counts of economic crime.
He said the 1st accused, Ebrima Bandeh, was reported on count one to have caused loss to Gamtel of D84,781.02, by illegally diverting international calls through a simbox that was illegally installed at Gamtel facility.
He added that on count two the 1st accused was said to have caused loss to Gamtel of D5,000, by illegally removing 2MB, E1, internet cable link from the billing department of Gamtel.
On count three the 2nd accused, Adama Ceesay, was alleged to have collaborated with the 1st accused and illegally removed the 2MB, E1, internet cable link from the billing department of Gamtel.
And on count four the 2nd and 3rd accused persons, Adama Ceesay and Sheikh Gaye, were jointly alleged to have collaborated with the 1st accused to fraudulently install an unauthorised sim card at the Gamtel facility.
Justice Nkea added that the accused persons denied all the counts of charges, and the prosecution called 6 witnesses and tendered several exhibits in support of their case.
He said the 2nd and 3rd accused persons chose to rest on the case of the prosecution, adducing that it was the 1st accused who instructed the 2nd accused to remove some internet link cables from one of the Gamtel staff buildings to another building in the same premises, which resulted in a slow internet access in the building from which the cable was removed.
The judge added that the 2nd and 3rd accused maintained they were acting under the instruction of the 1st accused who was their boss at the time, but the 1st accused denied any wrongdoing.
He stated that there was unchallenged evidence that the 1st accused instructed the 2nd and 3rd accused to remove the cable from the staff building at Abuko, and the 2nd accused dismantled the communication device in the office of the 1st accused.
“There was no evidence to show that the 2nd and 3rd accused knew or could have known or ought to know that the 1st accused was engaged in a criminal activity. There was also unchallenged evidence that the 1st accused established a mini-communication station in his office at Abuko Gamtel, which was not known to the management,” the judge stated.
“I am satisfied that the prosecution had proven count one and count two against the 1st accused. I am also satisfied that the 1st accused was holding public office as contemplated by the economic crime,” he stated.
“The prosecution had established the ingredient and element of the offence against the 1st accused and had also proven his case beyond all reasonable doubts, and I therefore find the 1st accused guilty as charged and convict and sentence him accordingly,” the judge declared.