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Ex-PS Manneh, others granted bail

Jul 25, 2011, 1:07 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The lower court in Banjul last Thursday granted bail to former Permanent Secretary Number 2 at the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Abdoulie Manneh, and former Director of Lands and Surveys at the same Ministry, Malamin Jatta.

The bail condition was for D300,000 each with one Gambia surety who must swear to an affidavit of means, and the surety must also produce a title deed of property within the Greater Banjul Area.

When the case was called, the prosecuting officer, Superintendent Sainey Joof, told the court that the investigation into the matter was still ongoing, and he was therefore applying for an adjournment.

The magistrate then suggested that the prosecution should call at least one witness, to make progress in the case.

However, the prosecuting officer told the court that the documents pertaining to the case were with the investigation team, and that the prosecution did not even have possession of a single document.

Responding, defence counsel L.S. Camara told the court the charge before the court was a substantial charge and not a holding charge.

He added that if the prosecution was still saying that the investigation was not completed, yet the accused persons were still in custody at the Central Prison Mile 2 for only a misdemeanor.

Counsel further said that any further adjournment without granting the accused persons bail would amount to abuse of their constitutional rights.

Counsel noted that the court had asked the prosecution to call at least a witness, so as to make progress in the case, but the prosecutor was saying the investigation was not completed.                               

Former Permanent Secretary Abdoulie Manneh, and Malamin Jatta, former Director of Lands and Surveys, were alleged to have, in 2006, at the department of Lands and Surveys in Banjul, been employed in the public service and by virtue of their positions as director of Lands and Surveys, abused their office by allocating a plot of land at Old Jashwang belonging to one Alhagie Karamo Mustapha Ceesay (alkalo) to Elton Petrol Company without his consent.

It was further alleged on count two that the duo in the same place and year, being employed in the public service and by virtue of their positions as Permanent Secretary and Director of Lands and Surveys, abused their office by facilitating the transfer of ownership of various plots of lands to Malamin Kala Bojang, Sheriff Kuyateh and Aji Amie John respectively without proper procedures.

The case was adjourned till 4th August 2011, for hearing.