By Mamadou Dem
Top officials including the former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Muntaga Sallah yesterday appeared before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham of the lower court in Banjul charged with a single count of economic crime contrary to section 5 (f) of the Economic Crime (Specified Offences) Act cap 13:07 Vol III Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009.
The particulars of offence allege that Muntaga Sallah, Fafa Sanyang, Nuha Touray, Momodou Taal, Louise Moses Mendy, Seedy Kanyi, Cherno Marena, Edrisa Jobe, Sirra Wally Ndow and Momodou Badjie, between the year 2015 and 2016 respectively in the city of Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, intentionally did an act which shows to be detrimental to the economy of the Gambia, thereby committed an offence.
The accused persons could not take their plea on jurisdictional grounds as the lower court lacks the jurisdiction to try economic crime related offences.
Principal Magistrate Cham ruled that the case should be tried at the high court and is therefore transferring it to the appropriate court. He also ruled that the accused persons should remain in custody but did not specify where as earlier requested by the defence counsel Badou Conteh, who is representing all the accused persons.