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Local businessman released on D20M bail

Aug 1, 2011, 12:05 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The high court in Banjul last Friday granted bail to local businessman Mam Sait Njie, set at D20 million with one Gambian surety, who must swear to an affidavit of means.

The court also ordered the applicant to surrender all his travel documents.

Mam Sait Njie was remanded by a court order after his arraignment on a charge of economic crimes.

Police prosecutors accused him of selling 300 plots of land to Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation (SSHFC) at D30,000 each without paying his capital gains tax to the Gambia Revenue Authority amounting to D4,500,000, causing loss of income to the state.

Police prosecutors said the said act occurred sometime in 2009.

He was released on bail, after his counsel filed a 25-paragraph affidavit, seeking the court to grant the applicant bail pending the filing of new indictment.

Barrister Badou S.M. Conteh representing the accused person asked the court to grant bail to his client, stating that his motion was filed since 26 July 2011 and was served to the state respondent.

“The applicant would not jump bail if granted, and we had a surety who is able and willing to bail Njie,” counsel said.

SH Barkun, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, did not raise any objection, but asked the court to consider the amount involved before granting the applicant bail.

He said bail was at the discretion of the court, and reminded the court that the amount involved is huge.

Justice Ikpala after hearing from both sides granted bail to Njie on the conditions mentioned above.

Hearing was then set for 18 October 2011.

It would be recalled that Mam Sait Njie, a local businessman and proprietor of Makumbaya Farms, located in Kombo North in the West Coast Region of The Gambia, was recently arrested by the police in Banjul, alongside Abdoulie Manneh former permanent secretary at Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Malamin Jatta, Director of Lands and Surveys, Malamin Bojang alkalo of Wulinkama village in the Kombo North District.

Njie was subsequently remanded in custody on court orders following his appearance before Magistrate Tabally of Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

Sources said their arrest and subsequent arraignment may be in connection with the findings and recommendations of the Lands Commission of Inquiry, which last month presented its report to President Yahya Jammeh.