By Mamadou Dem
The judgment in the case of Mr. Buba Sagnia, former Director General of the Gambia Immigration Departmet (GID), could not be delivered yesterday, Monday, 15 September, 2014 and is now re-scheduled for Monday, 22 September.
The judgment is to be delivered by acting principal Magistrate Lamin Mbaye Snr. Banjul Magistrates’ Court. The non-appearance of the state coupled with the lack of electricity contributed to the non-delivery of the judgment.
Prior to the adjournment of the case, defence Attorney, Edward Singhatey applied for the matter to be adjourned since the state counsel was not in court. He added that a hearing notice should be served on the state to enable them attend the proceedings and take the judgment accordingly.
Readers could recall that the former Immigration DG is standing trial on two charges of ‘Abuse of office’ and ‘Neglect of official duties’, both of which he denies.
Sixth prosecution witnesses testified during the course of the trial but the Director of the Investigations Unit at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was allowed to testify in camera for ‘security reasons.’ Upon closure of the prosecution’s case, the accused testified as a lone witness. Thereafter, both the state and the defence furnished the court with written addresses and adopted the same. Subsequently, the case was scheduled for judgment.
According to the particulars of offence on count one, Mr. Sagnia, sometimes in the month of October, 2013 at Immigration Headquarters within the Jurisdiction of the court, whilst being employed as the Director General of the Immigration Department acted in excess of the powers of his office and issued entry clearance to Ali Chacin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without forwarding the same to the National Intelligence Agency office for further security screening, thereby committed an offence.
The particulars of offence on count two states that Mr. Sagnia in the month of October 2013, at the Immigration headquarters, within the jurisdiction of the court while employed as the Director General of the Immigration Department, issued entry clearance to Ali Chacin, a Syrian national, and Hussein Abs, a Lebanese national, without forwarding the same to the National Intelligence Agency office for further security screening, thereby committed an offence.
By Mamadou Dem