Momodou Sabally Faces Fresh Charges, Granted Bail

By Mamadou Dem

Mr. Momodou Sabally, former Director General of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), yesterday 9 January, 2017 appeared at the high court in Banjul, charged with eight counts ranging from Economic crime, Abuse of office, Neglect of official duty and Giving false information.

However, Mr. Sabally had denied any wrong doing and was consequently granted bail by Justice Aminata Saho Ceesay on conditions that he provides the sum of one million dalasi or two Gambian sureties with landed properties valued at the said sum.

Consequently, the matter was adjourned to February 2nd, 2017 for hearing.

Prior to his release on bail, Sabally was in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for almost two months. His attorney, barrister Lamin S. Camara on the 6th of December last year, filed a motion for the accused to be released on bail which was not opposed by the state. Given that the bar association boycotted the courts, the accused took it upon himself to move the motion. Consequently, he was granted bail.

According to the particulars of offence on count one, the aforesaid person on the month of May 2014 at Banjul, within the jurisdiction of the court did commit an offence to wit: while serving as Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs caused economic loss to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation to the tune of four hundred and two thousand five hundred dalasis (D402,500) by unduly influencing the said Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation to fund a program titled “Youth Career Development Program” organized by one Mariama Sillah and thereby committed an offence.

On count two, the particulars of offence allege that the accused sometime in the month of May, 2014 in Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court, did commit an offence to wit: while serving as the Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs  caused economic loss to the Government of the Gambia to the tune of thirty eight thousand four hundred and twenty four dalasis (38,424:00) being money received by him as per diem for a trip to South Africa in order to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Jacob Zuma which inauguration he neglected and failed to attend and thereby committed an offence.

On count three, the state alleges Mr. Sabally in the same month, year and place, as above, did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of his office as the Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs influenced SSHFC to sponsor a program titled ‘Youth Career Development Program’ organised by one Mariama Sillah and thereby committed an offence.

On count four, it is alleged that the accused in flagrant abuse of his office, as the Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs and blatant disregard of due process caused SSHFC to sponsor a titled “Youth Career Development Program” organized by one Mariama Sillah and thereby committed an offence.

The particulars of offence on count five indicates that on or about the 22nd day of May, 2014 the accused did commit an offence to wit: while serving as Secretary General, Head of the Civil Services and Minister for Presidential Affairs and while being part of the Gambian delegation to South Africa to attend the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma willfully neglected to attend the said inauguration and thereby committed an offence.

On count six, prosecutors allege that the accused on or about the 22nd day of May, 2014 at Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court, did commit an offence to wit:  while serving as Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs and while being part of the Gambian delegation to South Africa to attend the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma willfully  and negligently, delayed the departure of the Vice President’s flight from South Africa for 45 minutes and thereby committed an offence.

Count seven states that Momodou Sabally sometime in 1014 at Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of his office as the Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister for Presidential Affairs in flagrant abuse of his office presented two vehicles, the property of Alasan Ndoye to his Excellency the President as gift and thereby committed an offence.

The final count alleges that the accused, with intent to annoy and cause financial loss to Alasan Ndoye informed his Excellency the President that the said Alasan Ndoye had given two vehicles to His Excellency the President which information he knew or believed to be false and thereby committed an offence.