#Article (Archive)

PS Cherno Barry testifies in court

Jan 13, 2016, 9:47 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Cherno Omar Barry, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology, on 12 January 2016 testified in the case involving one Amadou Touray, who was charged with stealing a motor vehicle before Magistrate Wilson of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

He said he recognised the accused, adding that when he took over, the accused was the project manager for a project previously funded by the Taiwan government.

He adduced that in March 2014, the life cycle of the project came to an end, and at the coordinating committee meeting which he chaired, they agreed to write to the Office of the President to inform them of the official completion of the project.

However, he continued, because work was ongoing at the site, and there were no more resources to finance the rest of the project, they recommended to lay off the project management staff and compensate them with three months’ salary.

Mr Barry stated further that they received a response from the Office of the President, directing them to lay off the staff, to retain the cleaner and to give the list of all the management staff.

He further told the court that the ministry has several projects, and most of them were implemented by the coordination unit of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), and the ministry was the executing agency.

Mr Barry testified that the only ongoing projects were what was called the additional funding (World Bank) and the UTG Farababantang project funded by IDB, Kuwaiti Fund, Saudi Fund, OFFIG and BADEA.

The Gambia TVET project is actual the Ndemban Skills Training Centre, whose funding stopped before he was appointed as PS.

He added that it was fully funded by the Republic of China on Taiwan through an international cooperation development fund.

He further told the court that it was in November 2013, when the Government of The Gambia severed bilateral ties with the Republic of China on Taiwan that the project stopped.

Mr Barry also stated that a letter was addressed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs requesting for the refund of the balance of funds, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to the Office of the President asking permission for the balance of the fund.

He said directives were given to refund the funds, and they received a letter from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to receive the balance.

Mr Barry further told the court that as he was away, he was contacted on 30 November 2013, by email to approve the refund of funds, and instructed also that the project manager hands over the assets to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology.

At this juncture, the prosecuting officer, Sergeant 3560 Colley, applied to the court to adjourn the case, because he had another matter.

His application was granted and the case was adjourned to 26 January and 2 February 2016.

Lawyer Batchilly represented the accused, Amadou Touray.