Oct 19, 2012, 12:47 PM
State Prosecutors yesterday filed a new indictment against a former managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority, Abdoulie Tambedou and, Hali Abdoulie Gai, the institution’s former director of finance, at the Banjul Magistrates Court before senior Magistrate Lamin Mbai.
Abdoulie Tambedou and Hali Abdoulie Gai were earlier arraigned before the said court and charged with economic crime, but the case was later transferred to the High Court.
They now face new charges which include two counts of neglect of official duty, and three counts of disobedience of statutory orders.
On count one, the state accused Hali Abdoulie Gai and Abdoulie Tambedou that, in May 2011 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 negligence and without expressed 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 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 task force 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 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 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 to have, in August 2012 being employed in the public service as managing director of GPA, by wilful negligence and without expressed approval diverted a loan of D30,000,000 secured from the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), for the purpose of repairing ferries.
In applying for bail, defense counsel E. Jah told the court that the defence was applying for bail on behalf of the first accused person as the alleged offence committed was bailable.
He said the alleged offence was a misdemeanor not a felony, and the court had the discretion to grant the accused person bail.
Counsel Jah further argued that the 1st accused, Hali Abdoulie Gai, was a responsible civil servant who had served for 37 years in the civil service and had strong ties in the society, and has enough people who wanted to stand for him as sureties.
Defence counsel Edward Singhateh also told the court that his client, Abdoulie Tambedou, was not a flight risk, and in support of his application cited the constitution that grantees the accused person to be released on bail.
He said his client is a family man and a father with several children, noting that the accused person, Tambedou, was previously charged in March 2013, but he had never failed to report even for a single day.
He, therefore, urged the court to exercise its discretions in favour of his client, as he had plenty of people who wanted to stand for him as sureties.
Delivering the ruling, the trial magistrate told the court that even though the charges against the accused persons are misdemeanors, the position they were holding before and the sum involved needed to be considered.
He consequently granted them bail each in the sum of D1 million with two Gambian sureties who must have a biometric identification card.
The bail condition further stated that the accused persons should provide one title deed each equivalent to the mentioned sum within the Greater Banjul Area.
The case was then adjourned to 14 August 2013.