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Former GPA directors’ trial deferred

Aug 28, 2013, 10:24 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial involving a former managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) and the institution’s former director of finance yesterday failed to proceed at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before senior Magistrate Lamin Mbai.

Abdoulie Tambedou and Hali Abdoulie Gai are being tried on two counts of neglect of official duty, and three counts of disobedience of statutory orders.

The trial was supposed to continue with the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness, detective Essa Sowe, a police officer, but he was reported to be absent from the court.

During yesterday’s resumption of the trial, defence lawyer L.S. Camara told the court that on the last hearing, the defence had applied for the state to produce the investigation report to cross-examine the witness on the document.

He said the document was in court, and he applied for a stand down to enable him to peruse it.

However, the state counsel, Amadou Jaiteh, told the court that the prosecution was reliably informed that PW2 could not make his way to the court and was, therefore, applying for an adjournment.

The case was then adjourned to 29 August 2013, for continuation of cross-examination.

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 Security  and 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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