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Former GPA directors’ trial continues

Sep 13, 2013, 11:42 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial continued yesterday of two former directors of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), Hali Abdoulie Gai, former director of finance, and Abdoulie Tambedou, a former managing director, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Lamin Mbaye.

The two former GPA senior officials are being tried on a five-count charge which included two counts of neglect of official duty, and three counts of disobedience of statutory orders.

At yesterday’s hearing of the case, defence counsel Edward Singhateh told the court that on the last adjournment date, the defence applied to the court for the state to produce the investigation report.

He said since the state is not in a position to produce the document, and that Lawyer L.S. Camara was the one who was cross-examining the witness, he would urge the court to grant him an adjournment.

“We have not been served with any document relating to our request for the prosecution to produce the document for the defence,” he said.

In response, the Director of Public Prosecutions, S.H. Barkun, told the court that if the defence was not ready to proceed with the case, they should apply for an adjournment.

He said because the document was not produced should not be an excuse for not proceeding.

The case was then adjourned to 18 September 2013, for hearing.

On count one, the state accused Hali Abdoulie Gai and Abdoulie Tambedou that in may 2011,at Banjul, in the Banjul City Council, within the jurisdiction of the court of being employed in the public service and in their capacities as Acting Managing Director and Director of Finance of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) respectively, by willful negligent and without express approval diverted a loan of D150,000,000 secured from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporations (SSHFC) for the purpose of purchasing new Ferries.

State prosecutors on count two accused Hali Abdoulie Gai and Abdoulie Tambedou that, in May 2011, at Banjul, in the Banjul City Council, within the jurisdiction of the court of being employed in the public service and in their capacities as Officer In Charge of Ferries and managing director of GPA respectively, in flagrant disobedience of an order of a Taskforce for restructuring Ferries Services constituted by the Office of the President, diverted a loan of D150,000,000 secured from Social Securityand Housing Finance Corporations for the purpose of purchasing new Ferries.

Abdoulie Tambedou was further accused on count three that, in August 2012, at Banjul, in the Banjul City Council, within the jurisdiction of the court of being employed in the public service as managing director of the GPA, procured used vehicles and machines from Ballast Nedam, Africa BV, without the sanction of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority.

State prosecutors also accused Abdoulie Tambedou on count four that, in August 2012, at Banjul, in the Banjul City Council, within the jurisdiction of the court of being employed in the public service, as the GPA managing director, awarded a contract for the procurement of spare parts and rehabilitation of electronic weigh bridges to Avery Weigh-Tronix Limited without the sanction of the Gambia Public Procurement Authority.

Under count five, Abdoulie Tambedou, was alleged that, in August 2012, at Banjul, in the Banjul City Council, within the jurisdiction of the court of being employed in the public service as managing director of GPA, by willful negligence and without express approval diverted a loan of D30,000,000 secured from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), for the purpose of repairing ferries.

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