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Former NAWEC staff economic crimes case reaches climax

Nov 4, 2011, 1:03 PM | Article By: Malamim Conteh

The trial on a charge of economic crimes involving three former staff members of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has reached its climax at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Muhammed Mbowe, Lamin Dibba and Yankuba Camara both former   NAWEC staff, attached to Farafenni Power Station, were arraigned on charges of negligence of duty, economic crimes, as well as willful damage to the 3G generator at Farafenni Power Station.

In his defence testimony, Muhammed Mbowe told the court that on 7th June 2010, at around 12 am, he was working with his boss, the 2nd accused, who went to the engine hall, and when he came back, he told him that there was an emergency at the engine hall, because the engine hall was on fire.

 He said they raised an alarm, and called for help, adding that the fire fighters came to their aid and extinguished the fire.

He added that it was the prosecution’s fifth witness (PW5), Ebrima Kujabi, who broke the padlock of the engine No. 4 hall and opened the door for people to enter.

Still testifying, DW3 said they were later arrested by the police together with Lamin Jatta, who is a police officer, but Jatta was later released.

Mbowe further said that they were taken to Farafenni Magistrates’ Court where they were charged with negligence and recklessness.

He said, after three sittings, the charge was amended to economic crimes, and they were taken to the State Central Prison Mile 2, adding that while in Mile 2, they were granted bail but were later arrested.

 Mbowe denied causing any damage to the generator No.3, and further denied being negligent with intent to cause damage to the generator No.3.

He said that he did not know the cause of the fire, and did not know the condition of the engine at the time.

Hearing continues.