Thursday, May 2, 2013
Benedict Jammeh & Co. Pleaded Not Guilty on 45 Criminals Counts But….
The former director general and public relation officer of National Drug Enforcement Agency has denied charges of economic crimes, false information among others.
But accused persons only pleaded not guilty on 45 counts out of the 90 counts because the defense counsels request for an adjournment to attend other matters.
Benedict Jammeh, alongside ex-NDEA PRO Abdoulie Ceesay, Foday Barry, former director of Intelligence and Investigations at Holgam of the NDEA and Commissioner Yusupha Jatta, former head of the NDEA in the West Coast Region are facing 90 counts of economic crime, false publication, false information, abuse of office, and fabricating evidence at the High Court in Banjul.
The accused persons are alleged to have, extracted from the monies recovered from the 38, 500 Euros and the local currency amounting to D6, 000. They accuse persons are also accuse of organising a party for their operatives, which monies should have been tendered as exhibits to the court.
The charges further alleged that the accused persons gave false information to the Office of the President and the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) that one Assan Touray was wanted for drug-related offences.
They are also said to have fabricated evidence that Abdurahman Touray of Pristine Company was wanted in The Gambia for drug-related offences in which they preferred criminal charges against him and presented it to the Gambia Police Force which was later found to be false.
The indictments further accused them of unlawfully terminating and dismissing the services of twenty (20) NDEA officers without authority, while in office as public officers.
Which allegations they all denied
They were earlier arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates Court, and charged with eleven counts, which included economic crime before the case was transferred to the High Court.
At the time of taking their plea, lawyer Badou Conteh for the 1st accused and lawyer E. Jah who was holding brief on behalf of the second accused argued that count three and four were the same and urged the court to strike it. But, it was dismissed by the presiding judge, Justice Abdulahi Mikaili.
Jammeh and Ceesay are on bail in the sum of five million dalasi whilst ex-commissioner Jatta is on bail on two million dalasi.
Benedict Jammeh was appointed as NDEA director general in 2010 after the removal of IbrahimBun Sanneh who is currently serving his sentence at the mile 2 central prison. Jammeh has also served as NIA director general in 2008, Inspector General of Police in 2007.
Author: Binta .A. Bah