By Mamadou Dem
Former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mambanyick Njie, yesterday, Monday, 23 June, 2014 refuted the allegation contained in exhibit B (Police Investigation Report) that the letter he wrote to the Office of the President for the then Executives of the Gambia Football Association to be dissolved due to financial mismanagement was based on a personal motive.
Continuing with his defence at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke, the former Youth and Sports PS told the court that he does not agree with the Police Investigation report on the grounds that apart from himself and members of the former Gambia Football Association, the investigating team did not during the cause of their investigations interview or question any member of the then Normalisation Committee of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) that was put in place by the ministry of Youth and Sports and which, according to the witness, was very crucial in the investigations.
“Secondly, in relation to the imprest that was given to one Bakary Dahaba, alias Terema, I provided documentary evidence clearly indicating that he was paid €500.00 as imprest and €300.00 as allowances to enable him travel to Equatorial Guinea for a friendly international football match that the Gambia played at the time,” he told the Court.
At this juncture, senior counsel Antuman Gaye asked the witness about his reaction on the recommendation made by the police in the investigation report that the letter he (Njie) wrote to the Office of the President was based on a personal motive and therefore should be charged for “Giving False Information to a Public Servant.” Mr. Njie responded that he disagree with the allegation meted on him by the prosecution.
According to the accused, as the then Permanent Secretary, he was the administrative head for the department of Youth and Sports.
“The FIFA subvention is mainly for the development of football and football related activities in the country,” said the witness. He added that the development of football related activities involves both the development of national teams and the clubs, male and female respectively.
“Are those funds meant for executive members of the association to give loans to themselves?” asked counsel. The witness responded in the negative.
“Are you aware that some of those officials gave themselves loan out of FIFA subvention?”
“Yes,” replied the witness.
Looking at Defence Exhibit (DE4), Mr. Njie said the following people took loans from the FIFA subvention, namely Jammeh E.K. Bojang, former Secretary General of the Association took D200,000.00, Kemo Ceesay, former treasurer, took D150,000.00, Bakary Dahaba, D150,000.00, Abdou Salam Jammeh, former Assistant Secretary General, D150,000.00, Lamin Sarr, Coach, D60,000.00, Lamin Sambou, Coach, D70,000.00, Dawda Barrow, member of the GFA Secretariat, D50,000.00, Kalipha Manneh, team doctor, D50,000.00, and Victoria Roberts, member of the GFA secretariat, D30,000.00.
According to the witness, the total sum of loan amounted to one million fifty thousand dalasi (D1, 050, 000).
At this juncture, the defence lawyer applied to tender a letter emanating from Brikama United, a first Division club in evidence as exhibit which was admitted and marked accordingly without any objection from the police prosecutor, Sarja Sanyang.
Hearing continues on Monday, June 30th, 2014.