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Ex-Immigration DG’s trial continues

Apr 29, 2014, 9:17 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial continued yesterday in the case involving the former director-general of the Gambia Immigration Department, Buba Sanyang.

Buba Sanyang was arraigned before principal magistrate Hilay Abeke of the Banjul magistrates’ court, charged with abuse of office.

Continuing his testimony, the fifth state witness, ASP Immigration Ebrima Manneh, told the court that all applications for a business visa are addressed to the director-general of the Gambia Immigration Department.

He said all applications for business and diplomatic visas are to be sent to the director-general, and all applications for entry clearance visas should be sent to the office of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) by the director-general.

He added that the office of the director-general should send such applications to the office of the NIA under a certain provision.

Asked by the Director of Public Prosecutions what wasthe meaning of “red zone countries”, ASP Manneh said the “red zone countries” are those countries that were regarded as higher for acts of terrorism, and Syria was part of those countries.

Manneh further stated that the provision mentioned provided the procedures to be followed by the office of director-general, when any application emanated from any country specified under the “red zone countries”. He said Syria was one of those countries.

Further asked by the DPP what was the essence of the responsibility form, ASP Manneh told the court that the responsibility form is a form that was filled, signed or endorsed by a person or any person who was inviting three or a group of individuals, and also applying for them on their behalf for clearance visas for the purpose of entry into The Gambia.

“ I wish to added that this is only applicable if the applicant him/herself is outside the jurisdiction of the visa issuing officer,’’ he said.

He added that it bears the stamp of the Gambia Immigration Department, and confirmed a document as the said responsibility form, which was tendered in evidence and marked as an exhibit.

He said it isprovided for in the manual that all entry clearance applicants, who are applying for on behalf of visa applicants who was outside the Gambia, that such an application should attached with the responsibility form, and failure would tantamount to a break of procedures.

The case was then adjourned to 5 May 2014, for cross-examination.

Ex-Director General Buba Sanyang alias “Zil” was alleged to have, on 28 October 2013 at the immigration headquarters in Banjul and diverse places, abused the authority of his office as the director-general by issuing an entry clearance to Ali Chahin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without following the appropriate immigration procedures, and thereby committed an offence.