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State to file indictment in Agric officials case

Dec 18, 2014, 10:27 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

State prosecutors yesterday told the Banjul High Court before Justice Abi that they were yet to file the indictment in the case of some Ministry of Agriculture officials.

When the case was called, the accused were not in court and the state prosecutor said they had not yet filed the indictment.

The trial judge then said the case could not proceed without the indictment filed, and ordered the state to file the indictment.

The case was then adjourned to 29 January 2015.

Readers would recall that the accused persons were on 14 October 2014 arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Nyima Samateh on an economic crime charge.

The accused persons are Ada Gaye, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fafanding Fatajo, project coordinator at Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP), Omar Jammeh, financial controller of the FASDEP, Foday Jadama, deputy director of the soil and water management services under the Ministry of Agriculture, and Dr Abdou Ceesay, director of the department of Livestock Services.

The particulars of offence in count one stated that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in December 2013 in Banjul, in their capacity as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, project coordinator and financial controller of FASDEP respectively, paid D700,000 to one Foday Jadama for the training of FASDEP beneficiaries in upland conservation, which was not conducted nor were the funds retired by Foday Jadama.

Count two stated that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in March 2014 at FASDEP in Banjul, paid D527,349.55 to one Foday Jadama to train 300 FASDEP beneficiaries in crop husbandry over five days; instead he trained 114, which was “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.

In count three, Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in March 2014 in Banjul, paid D197,250 to one Dr Abdou Ceesay to train 20 extension workers in poultry production over 5 days but instead he trained 10, which is half of the target, an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.

Count four read that Foday Jadama in December 2013, in his capacity as the deputy director of soil and water management services under the Ministry of Agriculture, received a payment of D700,000 from FASDEP for beneficiaries in upland conservation in LRR and WCR, which was not retired and there was no evidence to show that the training activity was conducted. In March 2014, he received D527,349.55 from FASDEP to train 300 FASDEP beneficiaries in crop husbandry over five days; instead he trained 114, an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.

In count five, Dr Abdou Ceesay, in March 2014, in his capacity as director of department of Livestock Services, received a payment of D197,250 from FASDEP in Banjul, to train 20 extension workers in poultry production over five days but trained 10 (half of the target), an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.

Count six stated that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in February 2014, made a payment of D190,000 to SCENSA Company Ltd for the training of FASDEP staff in Excel, and also in May 2014made a payment of D190,000 to SCENSA for carrying out a needs assessment for community and municipal markets, knowing fully that SCENSA Company Ltd is not registered with the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA).

Count seven stated that Ada Gaye, in June 2014, in her capacity as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture in Banjul, recommended to the African Development Bank (ADB) to appoint Omar Jammeh, the financial controller of FASDEP, as acting project coordinator of FASDEP and at the same time being the financial controller, which violated the Financial Instructions.

In count eight, Ada Gaye and Omar Jammeh, in June 2014, in their capacity as permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and financial controller of FASDEP, jointly conspired and recommended to the African Development Bank for the appointment of Omar Jammeh as acting project coordinator of FASDEP.

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