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More testimonies in Ex-PS Mambanyick Njie trial

Feb 22, 2013, 9:35 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The false information case involving former Youth and Sports permanent secretary Mambanyick Njie, proceeded yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow.

It continued with the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness (PW2), Kemo Ceesay, head of finance at the Gambia Football Association (GFA), who was recalled for further cross-examination by the defence counsel, Antouman Gaye.

It was stated in the particulars of the offence that Mambanyick Njie, on 1March 2012 in Banjul, whilst serving as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, wrote a petition to the Office of the President, stating that the ex-Gambia Football Association (GFA) Executives were engaged in malpractices and never gave a thorough account of the imprests given to them for international matches and, therefore, sought approval to dissolve the said GFA Executive, information he knew to be false or did not believe to be true.

Testifying under cross-examination, Kemo Ceesay told the court that the accused person had never lodged any complaint against him personally.

What I was made to understand when I was called by the police was that the accused person alleged that the executives of GFA were engaged in malpractices, and never give a thorough account of the imprests given to them for international matches,” the former GFA head of finance told the court.

Asked whether it was correct that he told the court in his evidence-in-chief that he was appointed as accountant before being promoted as head of finance, Ceesay responded in the affirmative.

When further asked whether there was a salary attached to the position of head of finance at FGA, he replied in the affirmative.

Counsel asked him again whether there were other allowances attached to the salary, and the witness told the court that was part of his salary.

He was then asked to disclose his basic salary to the court.

However, the prosecuting police officer, Sergeant Manga, raised an objection to the question, arguing that his salary issue was never before the court, so it would not be right for the witness to disclose his salary in open court.

The trial magistrate upheld the prosecution’s objection on the grounds that the question might cause embarrassment to the witness, and the court should not allow such.

He added that, in his opinion, the issue of Ceesay’s salary was never before the court; so therefore, such question should not be entertained in any court of law.

The witness then continued to testify, and further told the court that the salary did contain transport allowance separately, but all other allowances are in a group.

He said he could not disclose the composition of the allowances they received at the end of the month, as he did not have the payroll voucher with him in court.

Asked whether he still works for GFA, Kemo Ceesay told the court that he was sent home on indefinite leave.

He said Seedy Kinteh was not a member of staff of GFA, as they did not receive any monthly salary from the GFA, noting that the members of the association elected them to the positions, but there was no salary attached to the position.

He said they did have an allowance if they are to travel, and that they were not entitled to any telephone allowances.

He admitted that Jammeh Bojang, GFA secretary general was the only staff of Gambia Football Association, who was a full-time staff, and he received all the benefits as a staff, adding that the rest are all executive members.

The former GFA head of finance further stated that when they travel out of the country, depending on the mission; if the event was organised by FIFA, FIFA takes care the air tickets, and they (GFA) paid the allowances.

He said sometimes, if the trip was fully sponsored, in such situation, they paid them 50% of the allowance, and when it was not fully sponsored, they paid them 100% allowance.

Ceesay said there were various types of travel at the GFA, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports also needed to pay the allowances, but when the GFA has money, the football association does pay the allowances from the GFA accounts.

The case was then adjourned till 4 March 2013.