Nov 21, 2008, 4:43 AM
Buba Sanyang was arraigned before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, charged with abuse of office and neglect of official duty.
In his testimony, ASP Ebrima Manneh said he is the officer commanding prosecution at the immigration department and he knew the accused person as the former director general of Gambia Immigration Department.
He added that the procedures governing obtaining entry clearance visa are provided under rules of immigration mandate.
He said rules provided under 9.8 state that any person who intends to secure entry clearance visa in the country should provide a written application to that effect, accompanied with the photocopy of individual passport and two passport size photos and addressed to the director general of immigration.
He added that such application must be submitted to three places, as the competent issuing officer, which is the general procedure for obtaining entry clearance visa.
ASP Manneh pointed out that the provision provides for rules 9.10, stating that if the applicant applying for entry clearance visa lives in the country outside the jurisdiction of the visa issuing officer, such application shall be addressed and forwarded to the office of the director general of immigration.
He said rules under 9.11 Immigration Act state that all applicants that are referred to under the provision of rules 9.10 shall be interviewed in person by the visa issuing authority or the applicant’s representative; such an applicant shall fill a form and provide a photocopy of his or her passport to serve as guarantor.
Rules 9.16 of Immigration Act state that all such applications provided under rules 9.10 and 9.11 respectively should check the information of the particular applicant.
At that juncture, the defence counsel, Edward Singhateh, told the court that as trite laws the witness could not testify on documents which were not before the court.
He noted that the witness was testifying on a particular form which was not before the court.
“I therefore urge the court to disallow the evidence or even be expunged from the records,” he submitted.
In response, the Director of Public Prosecutions, SH Barkun, told the court that counsel was in court when the witness was given evidence and he enjoined the witness’ testimony and he did raise an objection.
He added that the Evidence Act states that the objection could be raised at the material time when the witness was given evidence, but the counsel could not wait until at the latter part to raise an objection.
“I therefore urge the court to disallow his application and allow the witness to continue his evidence,” DPP argued.
The case was adjourned till 14 April 2014, for ruling and continuation.