Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ex-Agric Officials Grappling with Bail Conditions

Over 24 hours after they were granted bail, the ex-agric officials and Gambian businessman were struggling to satisfy the conditions attached to their bail.
“We’re still processing the paper transactions to have them bailed,” a family source, who wished not to be quoted here told this paper yesterday, shortly before press time.

Together with a Gambian businessman, eight former officials of the Ministry of Agriculture stand accused for offenses of economic crime, uttering false documents and neglect of official duty.
Amongst them three former permanent secretaries, the accused persons are accused of importing in 2009 ineffective fertilizers that are detrimental to the economy and welfare of the people of The Gambia.
The allegations which they denied stemmed from a Gambia government sanctioned Commission of Inquiry into fertilizer importation into the country in 2009.
The only female among them has been released on bail, while two remains at large. Under custody for more than two months at the State Central Prison, Mile 2, the remaining six were finally granted bail to the delight of their family.
This was on Monday June 4, when Justice Amadi of Brikama High Court acquiesced to the defense lawyers’ request for bail. It was the third bail application in less than two months as the previous two bail applications were turned down.
The court however, requested each to deposit D3 million with two Gambian sureties each of whom must deposit a compound title deed located within the Greater Banjul Area.
The accused persons were further ordered to surrender all their travel documents including passports and other means of traveling to the court principal registrar at the High Court.
Also part of the bail condition was that the sureties must regularly appear in court. Justice Amadi warned that even a single absence without any reasonable excuse, will result in forfeiting of their bail conditions.
Meanwhile, Monday’s proceedings witnessed the cross exmination of the first witness, Alphu Marong, a former Parmanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.
The accused persons are: former Permanent Secretaries, Sidi Jarju, Dr Amadou Sowe and Alh. Bakary Trawally; Momodou Mbye Jabang, former Project Manager; Awa Saye-Touray, a supplies officer, Kekoi Kuyateh, former secretary and Dr Mustapha Ceesay, Deputy Director General of NARI, all of whom worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, and Modou Lamin Ceesay, a businessman.
The case continues today
Author: Binta A Bah

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