COURT FINES PROSECUTION WITNESS FOR NON APPEARANCE IN FORMER WAAPP COORDINATOR’S TRIAL

By Rohey Jadama

The criminal case involving Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, the former Coordinator of West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP), did not proceed yesterday, Monday, 27th October, due to the absence of the fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Samsideen Kebbeh, Procurement Officer at WAAPP.

When the case was called before Justice Emmanuel Amadi of the Criminal Division of the High Court, Abubakr Mohammed announced his appearance for the state, whilst the accused was represented by Senior Counsel Antouman Gaye.

The Prosecution told the court that their witness is on his way coming but was held up in the traffic and applied for stand down for 20 minutes. The trial judge refused the application and ordered the said witness to pay a fine of D2000.00 to the defence team for his absence in court.

The state prosecutor then applied for an adjournment and subsequently the matter was adjourned to 4th November, 2014 for continuation of hearing.

It would be recalled that the accused person is charged with three criminal offences. Count one is omitting or failure to fully apply the Euro 5.3Million agricultural grant from the World Bank which, it states, is an omission detrimental to the Gambian economy and the welfare of the people of The Gambia and contrary to Section 5(f) of the Economic Crimes (specified offences) Act cap 13:07, Volume 3 Laws of The Gambia.

On count two, the accused is charged with neglect of official duties contrary to Section 113 of the Criminal Code, Cap 10;01 Volume 3, Laws of The Gambia.

On count three, the accused is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing loss to a public body, contrary to Section 5 (b) of the Economic Crime (specified offence) Act cap 13;07, volume 3, Laws of The Gambia.