PROCUMENT OFFICER CROSS-EXAMINED IN FORMER WAAPP COORDINATOR’S TRIAL

By Rohey Jadama

The criminal trial involving Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, the former coordinator of West Africa Productivity Project (WAAPP), proceeded yesterday, 4th November with the fourth prosecution witness (PW4), Samsideen Kebbeh, a Procurement Officer at WAAPP, testifying before Justice Emmanual Amadi of the Special Criminal Division of the high court.

The State was represented by Olimatou Danso whilst the accused was represented by Lamin S. Camara and Edward Singhatey.

The prosecution told the Court that they intend to continue with the testimony of PW4 which was granted.

State counsel Danso asked Mr. Kebbeh whether he was aware of any contract apart from Exhibit B. The witness responded in the negative.

Under cross-examination by Lawyer Edward Singhatey, the witness was asked whether it is correct that he told this court that the project was implemented 100%. He responded in the positive.

When asked whether all the components of the contract were fully certified by the consultant, he responded in the positive.

“Now can you tell the court what a certificate of completion from the consultant means?” asked the defence counsel.

“It means that the work carried out is fully completed in line with specification, drawing and designing,” responded PW4.

Counsel asked, “Now, is it also correct that all the defects in the construction after completion were remedied by the contractor?”

The witness replied, “Yes”.

Counsel asked, “Is it correct to say the defect liability caused in the contract was invoked? “

The witness replied, “Yes”.

Counsel asked, “Is it correct that you were part of the management team of this project? “

The witness replied, “Yes”.

The defence counsel then asked the prosecution witness to explain to the court the work ethics of the management team. In response, PW4 told the Court that the project management team manages the project in line with the World Bank procedures. When asked whether he was aware of an impact evaluation report from the GEEP project which was compiled and submitted by one Mr. Lamin Jobe, PW4 responded in the positive.

At this juncture, Lawyer Singhatey reminded the court that they have not yet received certain documents from the prosecution, adding that he gave the prosecution notice which was filed on the 16th October 2014. He added that the said documents are very crucial and that he intends to scrutinize and even tender them as exhibits if deemed fit.

In response, the prosecutor said they are aware of the notice and are working on it. She said it would be made available to the defence in the next adjourned date.

However, PW4 was forgiven by the defence team for the fine he was ordered to pay for failure to appear in court the last time.

The matter was then adjourned to the 19th of November, 2014 for continuation of hearing.

It could be recalled that the accused person is charged with three criminal offences. Count one is omitting or failure to fully apply the Euro 5.3 Million 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.