Jul 26, 2013, 11:58 AM
Principal Magistrate Taiwo Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday granted bail to Pa Habibou Mbye and Foday Barry, both former senior officers of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDEA.
The bail condition was for D300,000 each with one surety with landed property.
Pa Mbye, former crime management coordinator at the NDEA, and Foday Barry, former director of investigation, were arraigned before the said court and charged with conspiracy, theft and neglect of official duties.
Defence counsel E.E. Chime said the two accused persons were arraigned before the court, after the closing time of the court, but they did everything within their powers to contact a lawyer.
He added that he was contacted while he was in the Kombos, adding that the accused could not apply for bail on their own, even though the charges against them were bailable.
Counsel Chime further argued that it was not the first time that the accused were arraigned before the court, but they had never jumped bail, as they were always present in court.
They were not arrested by the police, but they reported to the police their own, he said, submitting that the accused persons were well respected officers.
If the investigation was not completed they would not have been arraigned before the court, he stated, adding that the matter was even adjourned for hearing.
He argued that if the investigation into the case was not completed the matter would not have been adjourned for hearing.
The essence of bail was to compel the accused person to attend the court, he added, submitting that the accused persons are good Muslims who have sworn that they would not jump bail.
He stated that the accused persons were kept in Mile 2 prison over an offence that was bailable, and have been dismissed from their jobs, adding that the accused persons’ rights was guaranteed by the constitution.
He then urged the court to grant them bail.
In response, the prosecuting officer, Sergeant Manga, submitted that the police were opposed to the bail application filed by the defence.
He added that they had supplied the court the reason why the accused persons should not be granted bail, and the position remained unchanged, submitting further that the accused were prominent people at the NDEA, and in the society as well.
Manga added that the more reason they should not be granted bail was that they know tricks in interfering with the case, and that was not a strange thing to the accused persons.
Prosecutor Manga further added that if the accused were granted bail, it would be fatal to the case of the prosecution, as they would do everything within their powers to jump bail, which would defeat justice.
He submitted that the court had made an order for the investigation into the case to be expedited, and urged the court to deny the accused person bail until the next adjournment date.
“Three quarters of the witnesses for the prosecution are coming from the NDEA, who were answerable to the accused persons directly, and if granted bail they can interfere with the witnesses,” he added.
The trial magistrate in his ruling ruled in favour of the defence and adjourned the case to 10 September 2012, for hearing.
The particulars of offence on count one stated that the accused persons, between 2010 and 2012 in Banjul and in diverse places within the jurisdiction of the court, with an apparent intent for deception, jointly conspired to defraud one Robert Danquah, an inmate in Mile 2 State Central Prison of D230,000.
Count two stated that Foday Barry and Pa Habibou Mbye, between 2010 and 2012 in Banjul and in diverse places within the jurisdiction of the court, stole D230,000 from one Robert Danquah, an inmate in Mile 2 prison.
Count three read that between 2010 and 2012, in Banjul and in diverse places within the jurisdiction of the court, neglected their official duties as directors at the NDEA, by jointly defrauding one Robert Danquah, an inmate in Mile 2 State Central Prison of D230,000.