DPP to File an Indictment in 5 Agric Officials Trial

By Rohey Jadama
Hadi Saleh Bakum, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), yesterday, 20th January, 2015 told the court that he will be filing an indictment before the end of the day in the case involving the five officials of the Ministry of Agriculture including the permanent secretary.There was no objection from the defence team and the application was granted accordingly.
When the case was called before Justice S.A Abi of the Banjul High Court, Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou announced his appearance for the 1st accused person and Lamin S. Camara appeared for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th accused persons. All the accused persons were present in court.
The case was adjourned to 11th February, 2015 for mention.
The five accused persons are Madam Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Fafanding Fatajo, Project Coordinator for the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP), Mr. Omar Jammeh, Financial Controller of the project, Mr. Foday Jadama, Deputy Director of the Soil and Water Management Services under the ministry, and Dr. Abdou Ceesay, Director of the Department of Livestock Services.
The particulars of offence on count one states that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in December 2013 in Banjul, in their capacity as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, project coordinator and financial controller of FASDEP respectively, paid D700,000 to one Foday Jadama for the training of FASDEP beneficiaries in upland conservation, which was not conducted nor was it retired by Foday Jadama.
Count two alleges that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in March 2014 at FASDEP in Banjul, paid D527,349.55 to one Foday Jadama to train 300 FASDEP beneficiaries in crop husbandry over five days; instead he trained 114, which was “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.
On count three, it is alleged that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in March 2014, in their capacities as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, project coordinator and financial controller of FASDEP respectively, in Banjul paid D197,250 to one Dr Abdou Ceesay to train 20 extension workers in poultry production over 5 days but instead trained 10, half of the target, an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.
Count four states that Foday Jadama in December 2013, in his capacity as the deputy director of soil and water management services under the Ministry of Agriculture, received a payment of D700,000 from FASDEP for beneficiaries in upland conservation in LRR and WCR, which was not retired and there was no evidence to show that the training was conducted. And in March 2014, he received D527,349.55 from FASDEP to train 300 FASDEP beneficiaries in crop husbandry over five days; instead he trained 114, an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.
On count five, it is stated that Dr Abdou Ceesay, in March 2014, in his capacity as director of department of livestock services, received a payment of D197, 250 from FASDEP in Banjul, to train 20 extension workers in poultry production over five days but trained 10 ( half of target), an act “detrimental” to the economy of The Gambia.
Count six states that Ada Gaye, Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh, in February 2014, in their capacity as permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture, project coordinator and financial controller of FASDEP respectively, made a payment of D190,000 to SCENSA Company LTD for the training of FASDEP staff in Excel, and also in May 2014made a payment of D190,000 to SCENSA for carrying out a needs assessment for community and municipal markets, knowing fully that Scensa Company LTD is not registered with the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA).
Count seven states that Ada Gaye, in June 2014, in her capacity as permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture, in Banjul, recommended to the African Development Bank (ADB) to appoint Omar Jammeh, the financial controller of FASDEP as acting project coordinator of FASDEP and at the same time being the financial controller, which violated the financial instructions.
On count eight, it is stated that Ada Gaye and Omar Jammeh, in June 2014, in their capacity as permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and financial controller of FASDEP, jointly conspired and recommended to the African Development Bank for the appointment of Omar Jammeh as acting project coordinator of FASDEP.