Tuesday, August 12, 2014
SABALLY IN COURT, REMANDED AT NIA
Author: Binta A Bah, standard.gm
After being detained for over a month, Momodou Sabally was yesterday afternoon arraigned before the high court in Banjul.
State prosecutors have slammed one count of economic crime and two counts of abuse of office charges against the former secretary general and minister for presidential affairs, all relating to a Youth Career Development Programme organised by one Mariama Sillah in May 2014.
Mr Sabally, 40, is accused of causing economic loss to SSHFC in the amount of D402,500 by unduly influencing SSHFC to fund the programme without the recourse to due process. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, his request to be released on bail was denied by Justice Abdullahi Mikailu who ordered him to be remanded at the National Intelligence Agency after the prosecution said the investigations into his matter were ongoing.
“I want an order to leave the accused in the custody of the NIA owing to the fact that the investigation in relation to the accused person is ongoing. We want the court to give an order to this effect,” the director of public prosecution told the court.
Mr Sabally who was not represented by a lawyer told the court: “I have been detained for five weeks during which I cooperated with the investigators… I have a wife and children.I served as an example to the younger ones. I joined the services of The Gambia and ignored foreign appointments such as the IMF and World Bank and decided to serve my country. With this background, I did not see any reason why the prosecution should doubt my integrity. I therefore humbly disagree with the prosecution and urged the court to grant me bail.”
But the judge ruled that both parties in their submissions agreed that the investigations into the case are yet to be completed.
“For this reason, I do not think that the court in this stage will admit bail to the accused person. The accused may repeat the same application in the course of the trial if he so wish. The accused shall be remanded in custody of the NIA to further the diligence of the investigation,” he said. The case will resume on October 14 for hearing.