Absence of Fafa Sanyang Hinders the Trial of Sirra Wally Ndow, 9 others

By Rohey Jadama

The ongoing trial involving Sira Wally Ndow, former minister of petroleum and nineSirra Wally Ndow Njie others did not proceed yesterday 6 October, 2016 due to the absence of the 3rd accused person, Mr. Fafa Sanyang, who is being detained at National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

When the case was called Lawyer Lamin S. Camara defense counsel for Mr. Sanyang told the Special Criminal Division of the High court presided over by justice Otaba that his client was granted bail by the court but was rearrested by the NIA and he is still with them.

The accused persons are namely Mrs.Sira Wally Ndow, former petroleum minister, Momodou O.S. Badjie, former Managing Director of Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Fafa Sanyang, former Petroleum Commissioner, Edrisa Mass Jobe, Muntaga Sallah, former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Petroleum, Momodou Taal, Seedy Kanyi, Noah Touray, former Cabinet Secretary, Louie Moses Mendy, former official at the president’s office, and Cherno Marena, former Solicitor General and Legal Secretary.

The Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP), Hadi Saleh Barkun, M. B. Abubacarr, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions(DDPP), M. Koita and Sheriff kumba Jobe announced their representation for the state, while Lawyers Mary A. Samba and S. Taal held brief for Lawyer Ida D. Drammeh announced their representation for 1st, 4th and the 6th accused persons. Lawyers Lamin S. Camara and E Sanneh and Patrick Gomez appeared for the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th accused persons.  Lawyer L. Farage for the 5th and 8th accused persons and Lawyer Borry  S. Touray for the 10th accused person.

At this juncture, the DPP informed the court that the matter is for mention. He added that he was told by defence counsel Camara that the 3rd accused is detained at the NIA and that according to section 24(3) (F) of the CPC, the case cannot proceed in his absence.

DPP Barkun said he is applying for the matter to be stood down for him to find out whether Mr. Sanyang is detained at the NIA or any other agency.

At this juncture Lawyer Farage said she does not know why the prosecution is applying for a stand down because even if the 3rd accused person is brought, he will still need to consult his lawyer, however before she could finish talking, Justice Otaba interjected and said he is frowning at the stand down and that he will not grant it.

In his ruling Justice Otaba said he is frowning at the application of the prosecution for the matter to be stood down. He subsequently adjourned the case to 20th October, 2016 at 1pm for mention.