Former SG Sabally Loads 5 New Charges

By Kebba Jeffang

Mr. Momodou Sabally, the former Secretary General, Head of Civil Service Modou Sabally SGand Minister of Presidential Affairs who has been remanded by the court before spending weeks of detention under NIA custody is charged with five new counts of criminal offences during a proceeding at the Banjul High Court on Wednesday, 22nd October, 2014.

When the case was called before Justice Mikhailu Abdullahi in a crowded court room, many of whom are relatives and sympathizers of the accused, the state was represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) S.H Barkun whist Lawyer Antouman Gaye appeared for the accused person.

At this juncture, the DPP made an application to make some amendments in the charge sheet which he said was done few weeks ago; adding that it is in line with Section 218 of the Criminal Procedure Code that gives right to amendment if the need arises.

In his response to the application, the defence counsel Antouman Gaye said he has no objection to the said application.

The application was upheld by the court and the new charge sheet was read out to the accused person to take his plea.

The statement of offence on the first count states that the defendant is accused of Economic Crime (specified offences) contrary to Section 5 (f) of the Economic Crimes Act revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence on the first count states that Momodou Sabally about the month of May, 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: while serving as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presdential Affairs caused economic loss to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation to the tune of Four Hundred and Two Thousand Five Hundred dalasi (D402, 500) by unduly influencing the said SSHFC to fund a program titled: ‘Youth Career Development Programme’ organized by one Mariama Sillah without recourse to due process and thereby committed an offence.

He pleaded not guilty to the stated count.

On the second count, the accused person was charged with Economic Crimes (specified offences) contrary to Section 5 (f) of the Economic Crimes Act revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence on the second count states that Momodou Sabally about the month of May, 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: while serving as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presdential Affairs caused economic loss to the government of the Gambia to the tune of Thirty Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Four dalasi (D38, 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 he neglected to attend thereby by committed an offence.

The accused person pleaded not guilty as charged.

Count three, Sabally is charged with ‘Abuse of Office’ contrary to Section 90 (1) of CPC Cap 10;01 Vol 3 revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence of the said count states that the accused person sometime in May, 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of office as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs, he influenced SSHFC to sponsor a program titled ‘Youth Career Development Programme’ organized by one Mariama Sillah and thereby committed an offence.

He pleaded not guilty as charged.

The fourth count is ‘Abuse of Office’ contrary to Section 90 (1) of CPC Cap 10;01 Vol 3 revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence of the said count states that the accused person sometime in May, 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of office as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs and blatant disregard of due process, he influenced SSHFC to sponsor a program titled ‘Youth Career Development Programme’ organized by one Mariama Sillah and thereby committed an offence.

On count five, the accused person is charged with ‘Neglect of official duty’ contrary to Section 113 of the Criminal Code Cap 10.01 Vol 3 revised laws of the Gambia.

The particulars of offence states that on or about 22nd day of May 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit:  while serving as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of 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.

He denied the charge.

On the sixth count, he was charged with ‘Neglect of official duty’ contrary to section 113 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Vol 3 laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence states that on or about 22nd day of May 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit:  while serving as Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of 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 45minutes and thereby committed an offence.

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The accused person on the seventh count was charged with ‘Abuse of Office’ contrary to Section 90 (1) of CPC Cap 10;01 Vol 3 revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence on this count states that Momodou Sabally sometime in 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of office as the Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs presented two vehicles, property of Alasan Ndoye to his excellency the President as gift and thereby committed an offence.

He pleaded not guilty.

The final and eight count charges preferred against the accused person is giving false information to a public officer contrary to section 114 (b) of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Vol3 revised laws of the Gambia 2009.

The particulars of offence states that Momodou Sabally sometime in 2014 at Banjul in the Republic of the Gambia within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence to wit: in flagrant abuse of his office as the Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs with intent to annoy and cause financial loss to Alasan Ndoye  informed the President of the Republic that the said Alasan Ndoye had given two vehicles to the President which information he knew or believed to be false and thereby committed an offence.

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

At this point, the defence counsel Gaye said there is a pending bail application and he was ready to move that today but that he was served an affidavit in court which he wishes to react to.

At this juncture, the trial judge adjourned the matter to Monday, 27th October, 2014 at 4pm and granted thirty minutes to each party for them to submit their argument on bail application.