Nov 18, 2013, 9:38 AM
Former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, and Presidential Affairs Minister, Dr. Njogu L. Bah, yesterday made his second court appearance at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Senior Magistrate Lamin Mbai.
Njogu Bah, who made his first appearance before the said court on 15th July 2013, was jointly charged alongside ex-Justice minister Lamin Jobarteh and former Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Pa Harry Jammeh.
The trio were charged with abuse of office, and two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.
On their first appearance in court, senior magistrate Mbai granted the accused persons bail of D100,000 each with one Gambian surety, who must deposit a biometric identification card.
The bail condition further stipulated that the accused persons should report to a police station from Monday to Friday, and they must also surrender their passports to the registrar of the Banjul Magistrates Court.
During yesterday’s court sitting, police prosecutor Chief Inspector Badjie told the court that the prosecution was applying for the case to be transferred to the High Court in Banjul.
In response, defence counsel Edward Singhateh objected to the continuation of the matter before the court in the absence of the other accused persons Jobarteh and Pa Harry Jammeh.
“The matter cannot proceed in the absence of the 2nd and 3rd accused persons,” counsel Singhateh told the court.
Delivering his ruling, the trial magistrate told the court that it has come to the knowledge of the court that the 1st accused person in the case Dr. Njogu L. Bah, who was granted bail together with the 2nd accused person, Lamin AMS Jobarteh, had fulfilled all the bail conditions with the court registrar.
The court strongly advised the office of the National Intelligence Agency to comply with the order of the court, and allow the accused to proceed with his bail, unless when new charges were levied against him.
However, the magistrate went on, it was important to note that the office of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have the power to hold the accused, if they feel that investigations are still ongoing.
“It is the fundamental right of the accused guaranteed under the Constitution to have a fair and speedy trial before any court of law,” Magistrate Mbai added.
The case was then adjourned to 12th July 2013, for continuation.
On count one, Dr Njogu Bah, Lamin Jobarteh and Pa Harry Jammeh were charged that in the year 2013, they acted in their capacities as former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and Solicitor General and Legal Secretary and respectively terminated and sent Justice Joseph Wowo, acting Chief Justice of The Gambia out of the country, and formed a task force to look into the activities of the Tax Commission initiated by the President, and thereby committed an offence.
On count two, Dr Njogu Bah, Lamin Jobarteh and Pa Harry Jammeh are accused of jointly conspiring among themselves in the year 2013 as former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and Solicitor General and Legal Secretary respectively, and forcefully terminated the services of Justice Joseph Wowo and sent him out of the country, which decision was prejudicial to the rights of Justice Joseph Wowo, and thereby committed an offence.
On count three, prosecutors accused Dr Njogu Bah, Lamin Jobarteh and Pa Harry Jammeh of conspiring among themselves as former Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and Solicitor General and Legal Secretary respectively, and formed a task force to look into the activities of the Tax Commission initiated by the President.