Feb 22, 2011, 1:55 PM
The Brikama Magistrates' Court presided over by Magistrate Nkea on Friday convicted Karafa Sanneh, former manager of Sifoe Farm, and sentenced him to a seven years imprisonment with hard labour.
He was convicted on four out of the six-count charges ranging from obtaining money by false pretence, giving false information to a public officer, making documents without authority, stealing by directors, and obligation to register.
In his judgment, presiding Magistrate Nkea told the court that the convict was arraigned before the court on 13th November 2009 and charged with six counts, all of which he denied.
He said police prosecutors then proceeded with the case into full trial, and called 11 witnesses to prove their case against the convicted person, who only called four witnesses.
He noted that after going through the evidence of both parties, he found out that the prosecutors have proved their case beyond all reasonable doubt against the convicted person, except in count three and six where, he added, the police failed to establish the necessary elements to prove the charges. He discharged the convict on these counts.
"I am of the view that the prosecutors have succeeded in counts 1, 2, 4 and 5, and he will be convicted accordingly," the trial magistrate said.
In his plea of mitigation, defence counsel Buba Jawo urged the court to temper justice with mercy as the convict has two wives and children, and he is also the family head.
He urged the court to consider all these and be lenient in passing judgment.
Magistrate Nkea said having listened to the plea of mitigation, the convict however deserved some punishment, noting that during the course of the trial, the convict showed no remorse.
He, therefore, convicted the accused to the three years mandatory jail term with hard labour on count one, six months imprisonment with a D500 fine on count two, seven years mandatory jail term on count four, and the five years mandatory jail term on count five. All sentences are to run concurrently.
In addition to the conviction, the court also ordered the convict to pay Solifo Investment the sum of D3, 624, 094.84 being funds illegally transferred from Solifo Investment account with Access Bank Gambia Limited into his personal account with the same bank. He was also ordered to pay Solifo Investment the sum of D772, 275 being the sum he collected at the Sambuya mining site and another D700, 000 not accounted for.
The court also ordered Access Bank Gambia Limited to immediately access the personal account of the convict, and withdraw the said amounts in his account.