NON FILING OF INDICTMENT DELAYS THE CASE OF 5 AGRIC OFFICIALS

By Rohey Jadama

The trial involving 5 senior Agriculture officials charged with eight countsof criminal offences did not proceed before Justice Abi of the Banjul high court yesterday, Wednesday, 17 December, 2014 as the prosecution failed to file the indictment file.

The five officials namely Madam Ada Gaye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Fafanding Fatajo, the Project Coordinator of Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP),  Mr. Omar Jammeh, the Financial Controller of  FASDEP, Dr. Abdou Ceesay, Director of Department of Livestock Services and Mr. Foday Jadama, Deputy Director of Soil and Water Management Services are facing eight charges including economic crime, neglect of official duty and abuse of office.

When the case was called, the accused persons were not in court. The state counsel, Olimatou Danso, said they have not yet filed the indictment file. At this stage, the trial judge said the case cannot proceed without the indictment file and thus ordered the prosecution to file it.

The case was then adjourned to 29th January 2015.

The accused persons, however, were earlier granted bail at the magistrate court in Banjul.

Readers could recall that the accused persons appeared before Magistrate Nyima Samateh of the Banjul Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 14th October 2014.  The trial magistrate, in her ruling granted bail to each accused person in the sum of Three Million dalasi (D3M) and ordered them to each produce two Gambian sureties, one of whom must have a title deed within the jurisdiction and to submit all their traveling documents to the registrar of the court. All the accused persons had earlier pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and the matter was transferred to the High Court.