Mar 11, 2011, 11:48 AM
Eight officials of the Ministry of Agriculture were yesterday arraigned and subsequently remanded at the State Central Prison Mile 2 by the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.
They are Alhaji Bakary Trawally former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Momodou Mbye Jabang former project coordinator with Ministry of Agriculture, Kekoi Kuyateh former deputy permanent secretary, Dr. Amadou Sowe, Dr. Mustapha Ceesay, Sidi Jarjue, Awa Saye Touray, and Yusupha Jawara.
The development comes barely a few days after the fertilizer commission presented it report to the government.
When the case was called, Magistrate Alagbe told the court that having perused the charge sheet, the court has decided it lacks the jurisdiction to try the accused persons for the alleged offence.
He added that based on that, the court would order the accused persons to be remanded in custody pending the proper arraignment at the high court of The Gambia.
The particulars of the offence on count one stated that Alhaji Bakary Trawally, Momodou Mbye Jabang, Awa Saye Touray, Kekoi Kuyateh, Dr. Amadou Sowe, Dr. Mustapha Ceesay, Sidi Jarjue and Yusupha Jawara sometime in 2009, at the Ministry of Agriculture, being public officers by any willful act or omission or recklessly, deliberately paid or facilitated payment without having the Indonesian fertilizer tested which caused economic loss worth D91.42 million to the Government of The Gambia, and thereby committed an offence.
The charge sheet on count two read that Momodou Lamin Ceesay, being a citizen of The Gambia, some time in 2009, whilst in the cause of business or transaction with the Ministry of Agriculture, intentionally or recklessly supplied agronomically ineffective fertilizer to the Ministry of Agriculture, thereby caused economic loss worth D91.42 million to the Government of The Gambia.
According to the particulars of offence on count three Alh Bakary Trawally, Awa Saye Touray and Kekoi Kuyateh, some time in 2009, at the Ministry of Agriculture, being public officers, willfully neglected to performed their duties imposed on them to inspect and test the Indonesian fertilizer consignment and to co-sign the cheques even when they knew the approval was not properly obtained.
Furthermore, count four stated that Dr. Amadou Sowe, some time in 2009, at the Ministry of Agriculture, gave false research findings of Dr. Mustapha Ceesay to the Office of the President, which he knew to be false or did not believed to be true with the intention that the information will be acted upon as genuine, which if the true state of facts were known will not be acted upon as genuine.
And count five stated that Dr. Mustapha Ceesay some time in 2009, at the Ministry of Agriculture, gave false research findings to Dr. Amadou Sowe which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true with the intention that the information will be acted upon as genuine.
The accused persons did not take their plea due to the nature of the first and second count, and the matter was to be transferred to the high court in Banjul.