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PS Ramou Cole-Ceesay appears in court

Nov 5, 2010, 12:53 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Mrs Ramatoulie Cole-Ceesay, permanent secretary at the office of the Vice President, on Wednesday appeared before Magistrate Emmanuel Nkea of the Banjul Magistrates' Court, where she testified in the trial of one Ebrima Loppy, a Gambian based in the United States of America.

Loppy was indicted on a two-count charge of giving false information, and attempting to commit a felony.

Mrs. Cole-Ceesay, who testified as the first prosecution witness, told the court that she is a resident of Fajara M Section, and a civil servant serving as the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President. She said she could identify the accused person.

"On 29th March 2010, I was serving as Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the President, when I was assigned by the Secretary General to grant the accused person an audience in respect of a letter he wrote to the head of state requesting an audience," she told the court.

PS Cole-Ceesay adduced that the accused person, who was accompanied by two of his family members, introduced himself and told her that he had a mobile hospital called MED 1 System, which he intended to bring to The Gambia.

Mrs Cole-Ceesay said the accused told her that the mobile hospital was well-equipped and had a capacity for 250 to 300 emergency rooms, such as an operation room and facilities for treating diabetes.

"The accused told me that if all these facilities are in place, it would not be necessary to take patients to neighbouring Senegal for kidney and diabetes treatment," PS Cole-Ceesay informed the court.

"I asked him about the human resources of the mobile hospital, and he told me that doctors are there who are waiting to come to assist, and they would be willing to help to develop the local capacity," she added.

Mrs Cole-Ceesay further told the court that she asked the accused person about the cost of this mobile hospital and that, in reply, the accused told her US$8 million, of which the government had to make a downpayment of 15 to 20 percent with the remaining percentage to be paid later.

"During the audience, the accused said the government has a very poor track record in an IMF report, in terms of loan servicing, and as such, it would be very difficult for the government to access the funds," she further testified.

She told the court that the accused, in his letter requesting for audience, did not include the monetary aspect, which he promised to come back for the following day, but failed to turn up and she (Cole) then submitted her report to the authorities.

It would be recalled that the accused Ebrima Loppy was sometime this year arraigned before the court on charges of giving false information to a public officer. He was later discharged for the alleged offence.

However, the accused was again charged, and subsequently arraigned on two counts of giving false information and attempting to commit a felony.

The case was adjourned till 8th November 2010.