By Yankuba Jallow
The special criminal division of the Banjul high court presided over by Justice O. Ottaba yesterday 28th September 2016 adjourned the case involving Mrs. Sira Wally Ndow Njai, the former Deputy Minister of Petroleum and nine others.
The accused persons are namely Sira Wally Ndow Njai, former deputy Minister of Petroleum, Momodou O. S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Edrissa Mass Jobe, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Taal, Seedy Kanyi, Noah Touray, Louie Moses Mendy and Cherno Marena former Solicitor General.
When the case was called, Counsel A. Yaqub and Lawyer Sheriff K. Jobe appeared for the state. Lawyers Ida Drammeh, Taal, Rachel Y. Mendy and S. Samba appeared for the 1st, 4th and the 6thaccused persons, Lamin S. Camara and E. Sanyang for the 2nd, 3rd and 7th, Labouna Farage for the 5th and the 8th accused, Mrs. R. Y. Mendy, L.S. Camara and E. Sanyang for the 9th accused and Lawyer R.Y. Mendy, Sabally, D.S. Touray, Y. Senghor and E. Boye appeared for the 10thaccused.
Lawyer L.S. Camara counsel for the 3rd accused, Fafa Sanyang, told the court that his client is not present. He said Mr. Sanyang was granted bail by the court but was re-arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) whilst on court bail and is in its custody.
He requested the Director of Public Prosecutions to produce Mr. Sanyang to appear in court for trial.
Justice Ottaba said it is a fundamental principle of law in a criminal trial that the accused must be present during proceedings. He therefore ruled that the proceedings cannot continue in the absence of the accused.
The case was then adjourned to 6th October 2016 at 1pm for continuation.