Nov 12, 2015, 9:57 AM
The accused persons are Lamin Fatajo, the former programme coordinator of Rural Finance Project, Lamin Mass, former administrative manager of the Rural Finance Project, and Ada Gaye, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
When the case was called, state counsel Ceesay announced her appearance for the state, while L.S. Camara and B.S. Touray represented the accused persons.
A.A. Ceesay for the state told the court that the case was set for plea taking.
The trial judge, Justice Abi, then asked the defence counsel B.S. Touray about the whereabouts of the 3rd accused person as stated in the indictment before him.
B.S. Touray told the court he was not aware of a 3rd accused person, and that at the last court sitting it was the two accused persons who were in the dock that he represented.
Lawyer L.S. Camara also told the court that the case emanated from the Banjul Magistrates’ Court with the two accused persons only, and they were not aware of the existence of a 3rd accused person.
A.A. Ceesay then informed the court that they would apply for an adjournment to serve the 3rd accused person.
According to the indictment filed in court, the 3rd accused person happened to be Ada Gaye, the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The trial judge, Justice Abi, then adjourned the case to 16 March 2015 for the state to serve the accused person to be present in court, and for plea-taking.
According to the indictment, which was not read in court, the accused persons, Lamin Fatajo and Lamin Mass, in count one stated that between February and November 2013, in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, while being employed as Programme Coordinator of Rural Finance Project and acting Finance Administrative Manager of the Rural Finance Project respectively, abused their offices by authorizing and approving the payment of D117,521 as salary advances for project staff in contravention of the project finance and administration procedure manual.
Count two stated that the two accused persons between December 2013 and May 2014 neglected their duties by failing to stop the payment of D18,000 as sitting allowances to some committee members who failed to attend such meetings.
Count three stated that the accused persons between December 2013 and May 2014 approved the payment of D18,000 as sitting allowances to some committee members set up to review the union finance promotion centre and were not entitled to the same, which act was detrimental to the economy and people of The Gambia.
Count four stated that the accused persons, Lamin Fatajo, Lamin Mass and Ada Gaye, between 1 and 31 July 2014, being employed as Programme Coordinator of Rural Finance Project, acting Finance Administrative Manager of the Rural Finance Project and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture respectively neglected in their official duties by authorizing the payment of $14,000 to Sonko Fofana without first seeking and obtaining approval from IFAD.