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Former NDEA top brass jailed

May 17, 2012, 2:28 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The Special Criminal Court yesterday convicted and sentenced former senior officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) to a cumulative period of eight years in prison.

They are Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, former Executive Director of the agency, Karamo Bojang, former deputy executive director of the agency, Ousman Sanneh, the agency’s former operations commander and Seedou Bojang, the agency’s former accountant.

They were all tried for the alleged offences of conspiracy to commit felony, stealing by person in public service, aiding and abetting, unlawful possession of fire arm, unlawful possession of live ammunitions, concealment and destroying of evidence, official corruption, abuse of office and committing economic crimes, obtaining money by false pretence, making document without authority, among others.

Meanwhile, the fifth accused person, Marie Sanneh, was fined D100,000 on count 21, in default to serve five years in prison and another fine of D100,000 on count 28, in default to serve five years, and the sentences would run concurrently.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Emmanuel Nkea stated that the convicts were charged with 30 counts and they all denied the charges. The prosecution called 17 witnesses and tendered exhibits, while the convicted persons also testified in their own defence, and called witnesses.

Justice Nkea stated that there was evidence that a truck was confiscated by the NDEA, which was loaded to Basse, and that this was known to the 1st and 5th accused persons.

He also said the court was satisfied that the 1st and 5th accused conspired to cause financial loss to the Gambia government.

There was no evidence that there was a joint enterprise between Manjang Janko, one of the prosecution witnesses, and the 1st ,2nd and 3rd accused persons, adding that he could not believe that the 1st ,2nd and 3rd accused gave drugs to Janko to sell, and shared the proceeds.

Justice Nkea further pointed out that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th convicts were in the forefront of the NDEA, and any money paid to the NDEA, on behalf of the state, would be under their care.

He said the D140,000 paid to the NDEA, by the 4th accused,  was the responsibility of the 1st accused, adding that he held it as a matter of fact that the 1st accused planned to deceive the NDEA.

He said he also held it as a fact that the 2nd accused gave drugs to Ousman Jatta for sale, and also believed that the 5th accused only paid D70,000 to the 4th accused, and that D150,000 should have been paid in full to the 4th accused.

Justice Nkea decided that there was compelling evidence that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th convicts were all top brass of the NDEA, which is a public service.

He consequently convicted and sentenced them on various counts ranging from 2 years to 8 years, and said all sentences would run concurrently.