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MOA project manager, others charged, remanded

Feb 2, 2011, 12:35 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Momodou Mbye Jabang, project manager at the Ministry of Agriculture, and four others, were yesterday remanded in custody by the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The accused persons were arraigned before the acting Principal Magistrate Alagba and charged with stealing by clerk or servant.

According to the particulars of offence, between March and September 2010, at the Ministry of Agriculture at The Quadrangle in the city of Banjul, the accused Momodou Mbye Jabang, by virtue of his position as project manager, fraudulently received on various occasions the total sum of D350,606.00 from the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Programme (GNAIP) Fund.

The accused persons who all denied the charge preferred against them were denied bail, and subsequently remanded in custody.

Defence counsel Antouman A.B. Gaye, who represented the accused persons alongside L.S. Camara, told the court that the accused persons were charged with stealing by clerk or servant, which is bailable offence.

He pointed out that bail is a right for the accused persons in order to enable them prepare for their defence. 

Senior Counsel Gaye said that all the accused persons are responsible citizens in their various communities, more so the alleged offence committed is a bailable one.

He added that the accused persons would be available in court anytime the court needed them, if they are granted bailed, and urged the court to grant the accused persons bail, as they have sufficient sureties.

The prosecuting officer, Superintendent Joof, in response told the court that the prosecution was opposing bail for the accused persons on the grounds that the investigation into the case was not completed.

He said that if the accused persons were granted bail, they might interfere with their witnesses, and urged the court to refuse the accused persons bail and remand them in custody.

The trial magistrate in delivering his ruling stated that though bail is a right, certain factors needed to be considered before giving bail to the accused persons.

“I have agreed with the prosecution that the accused persons are very influential by virtue of their positions, and can interfere with the prosecution witnesses,” the magistrate added.

The court, therefore, ordered that the accused persons be remanded at the Mile 2 state central prison, and further ordered that the police expedite their investigations within a week.

The case was adjourned till 8th February 2011