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More testimony in former Immigration boss trial

Feb 25, 2014, 9:37 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial continued yesterday in the case involving the former Director General Immigration Buba Sagnia alias Zil.

Buba Sagnia was arraigned before Principal Magistrate Hilay Abeke of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court and charged with abuse of office and neglect of official duty.

The third prosecution witness, Cadet SI Karalang Jarju, attached to immigration headquarters in Banjul, said he knew the accused person.

Jarju told the court that he was attached to the office of naturalization and clearance. His job is to advise applicants for clearance, especially a non-Gambian who wants to become a Gambian citizen.

He also advises applicants applying for entry clearance on behalf of others, on the administrative conditions attached to entry clearance.

He said the procedure for entry clearance is that applicants must have written and addressed the application to the Director General of the Immigration Department.

He added that when applying for entry clearance, details of the applicant, photocopy of his or her passport and address must be clearly stated.

Also the purpose of their visit and the duration of stay in The Gambia needed to be known to the Immigration authority.

He further stated that if the applicant is a non-Gambian, and a Gambian applies on his or her behalf, they must undertake the responsibility to stand as a witness when the need arises. He added that he or she must take the financial responsibility, when the guest is recommended for evacuation.

The applicant must copy his or her residential permit and his payroll tax in order to be considered, he said.

Jarjur added that he or she must have a well-established business in the country, noting that if the applicant is a Gambian national, he or she must have been a responsible citizen and must attach a copy of the passport.

If non-Gambian in an enterprise established in the country wants to invite a guest, he or she must have been a well-established enterprise in The Gambia.

He further stated that the applicant must have furnished the Immigration department a clear address and personal telephone number, and the location of their business in the country.

Asked by the state counsel, Mansour Jobe, whether the Immigration director-general used to be responsible for issuing the entry clearance, the witness answered in the affirmative.

He said the entry clearance document is made at the Immigration department, after approval was given by the director general.

The case was at that juncture adjourned to 10 March 2014.

Ex-Director General Buba Sagnia alias Zil was alleged in count one to have, on 28 October 2013 at Immigration headquarters in Banjul, acted in excess of the powers of his office and issued entry clearance to Ali Chahin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without forwarding the same to the National Intelligence Agency office for security screening, andthereby committed an offence.

Sagnia, it was further alleged in count two, issued entry clearance to them without forwarding the matter to the NIA office, and thereby committed an offence.

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