By Mamadou Dem
The absence of,Yusupha Dibba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence and second prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving Dr. Njogu Bah, former Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Presidential Affairs Minister, yesterday delayed the proceedings of the case on grounds that the said witness was attending the ongoing Cabinet Ministers retreat at Kanilai Village.
State Counsel M. Mendy submitted that the witnesses she intended to call in yesterday’s proceedings are all permanent secretaries currently in Kanilai for retreat. She therefore applied for the matter to be adjourned.
The trial Magistrate granted the application for adjournment and consequently adjourned the matter till June 25 for continuation of hearing.
According to the particulars of offence, the aforesaid person sometimes in the month of January, 2013, at State House in the City of Banjul, Republic of the Gambia abused the authority of his office as Secretary General and Head of Civil Service by interfering with the recommendation and posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure of nomination, thereby committed an offence.
Meanwhile, the two criminal count charges of “Conspiracy to commit a felony and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public,” involving Sainey M.K Marena, a freelance reporter and Musa Sheriff, Editor in Chief and proprietor of the Voice Newspaper could not also be heard on grounds that both the prosecution and the defence failed to appear in court.
Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke stated that the matter was for continuation of hearing but since none of the parties were present in court the matter should be adjourned for the benefit of doubt. The case resumed July 7 for continuation of hearing.
According to the particulars of offence on count two, the same accused persons on or about the 6th of December, 2013 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of the Gambia, whilst employed as Editor in Chief and reporter respectively at the Voice newspaper medium, they made a publication with a caption “19 GREEN YOUTHS JOIN THE OPPOSITION UDP” dated 6th December 2013, Vol-6 No117 ISSN: 0796-1308, knowing or having reason to believe that the said publication is likely to cause fear to the public or disturb the public peace, thereby committed an offence.