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WAAPP procurement officer cross-examined in former coordinator’s trial

Nov 7, 2014, 10:17 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The trial involving Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, the former coordinator of the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Project (WAAPP) proceeded on Tuesday before Justice Amadi of the special criminal court division of the High Court in Banjul.

The case proceeded with the cross-examination of the fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Samsideen Kebbeh, a procurement officer at WAAPP, who confirmed telling the court that the project was implemented 100 per cent.

Defence lawyer Edward Singhateh asked if it was correct that all the components of the contract were fully certified by the consultant, and the witness responded in the positive.

Further asked to tell the court what a certificate of completion from the consultant means, Kebbeh said it means that the work carried out was fully completed in line with specifications, drawings and design.

Asked whether it was also correct that all the defects in the construction after completion were remedied by the contractor, the witness answered in the affirmative.

The witness further told the court that the defect liability clause in the contract was invoked, and that he was part of the management team of this project.

Kebbeh said the project management team managed the project in line with World Bank procedures.

He said he was aware of an impact evaluation report from the GEAP project compiled and submitted by one Lamin Jobe.

At this juncture, Lawyer Singhateh reminded the court that they had not yet received certain documents from the prosecution, which he said were very crucial and that he intended to scrutinize the said documents and even tender them as exhibits if deemed fit.

In response, the state counsel said they are aware of the notice and were working on it, and the documents would be made available to the defence.

Meanwhile, PW4 was forgiven by the defence team for the fine he was ordered to pay for failure to appear in court the last time.

The case continues on 19 November, 2014.

State prosecutors accused Sheikh Tijan Sosseh in count one that, while employed as the project coordinator of the GEAPP, he failed and or omitted to fully apply the Euro 5.3 million grant from the World Bank, leaving unspent the sum of $76,489.20 which omission was detrimental to the economy of The Gambia, and the welfare of the Gambian people.

Count two stated that while employed in the public service of The Gambia as GEAPP coordinator, Sosseh neglected to effectively supervise the construction and rehabilitation of the Seed Multiplication Center at Chamen in The Gambia.

Sheikh Tijan Sosseh was further accused in count three that, while employed as the GEAPP coordinator, he recklessly paid D15,895,125.25 to the general procurement service in spite of the shoddy construction and the rehabilitation works at Chamen Seed Multiplication Centre, and thereby caused economic loses to The Gambia, that is, the Ministry of Agriculture and the GEAPP.