By Mamadou Dem
Antouman Gaye, the defence counsel for Mambanyick Njie on Monday, 30 June, 2014 at the Banjul Magistrates’ court presided over by Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke surrendered numerous documents in support of their case.
Senior Counsel Antuman Gaye submitted documents ranging from payment vouchers and receipts signed by Bakary Dahaba, alias ‘Trema’, two letters emanating from the Lamin Youth and Sports Committee Foot Ball Club and Red Scorpions Football Club of the G.F.A female league claiming payments of D50, 000.00 and D70,000.00 from the Gambia Football Association for being champions in one of the tournaments they participated in 2010-2011 respectively.
The former Youth and Sports Permanent Secretary told the court that the payments are still pending with the association mandated to steer the affairs of football in the country. He said the original payment voucher was dated 21st March 2011 and which was admitted and marked as exhibit upon application by his counsel.
Police prosecuting officer, Sarja Sanyang, objected to the admissibility of a receipt indicating that Bakary Dahaba received €800.00 on the grounds that the document sought to be tendered by the defence was a photocopy. He further argued that the defence failed to lay a proper foundation as to why it was tendering the photocopy. He referred the court to Section 101 of the Evidence Act to strengthen his objection on the admission of this document.
“I urge the court to reject or refuse the admissibility of the receipt but I’m not objecting to the tendering of the payment voucher,” he submitted.
Replying to the prosecution’s objection, Counsel Gaye submitted that the witness said the receipt was original; adding that both the voucher and receipt were previously admitted for identification purposes only but the witness came up with the originals.
In delivering his ruling, the trial Magistrate said “I’ve seen the receipts carefully, I’m convince that it is the original.” He therefore overruled the objection and accordingly admitted the payment voucher and receipts as exhibits.
The letter emanating from the Lamin Youth and Sports Committed dated 7th March, 2013 and addressed to the Secretary General of the Normalisation Committee of the G.F.A and the letter from the Red Scorpions Football Club of the GFA female league addressed to the Acting Secretary General of the GFA were both admitted in evidence as defence exhibits.
The witness said the Red Scorpions claimed in their letter that they wanted their money because they were invited alongside with other countries to participate in another tournament then hosted in Dakar, Senegal, adding that the said monies have not been paid to any of the clubs mentioned above.
At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to Tuesday, 1 July, for continuation and the likely conclusion of defence as stated by counsel.
Readers could recall that the prosecution alleged that Mr. Mambanyick Njie, on or about the 1st day of March 2012, in the City of Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, whilst as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, petitioned the Office of the President to wit: that the Ex GFA (Gambia Football Association) Executives were engaged in financial malpractices and never gave a through account of the impress given to them for international marches and therefore sought approval to dissolve the said GFA Executive, an information he knew to be false or does not believe to be true and thereby committed an offence. He pleaded not guilty as charged.