Absence of State Witnesses Hinders Former SG’s trial

By Mamadou Dem

 The non appearance of state witnesses in court, yesterday led to theDr. Njogu Bah further adjournment of a single count charge of ‘Abuse of Office,’ involving Mr. Njogu Bah,  former Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Presidential Affairs Minister.

When the case resumed for continuation of hearing, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Hadi Saleh Barkum (S.H Barkum) disclosed to Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke that the second prosecution witness and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Yusupha Dibba is out of the jurisdiction; adding that efforts were made by the prosecution to call another witness, particularly Permanent Secretary, Personnel Management Office (P.M.O), Nfamara Fadera.

According to the DPP, the Solicitor General spoke to Mr. Fadera to attend yesterday’s proceedings but due to reasons beyond their control the intended witness couldn’t make it at the court thereby sending apologies through the same Solicitor General and has craved indulgence of the court for him to be accommodated. “We are hereby applying for an adjournment,” said the DPP.

Defence counsel for the accused person, Lamin Mboge did not object to the application made by the state. Therefore, the case was adjourned to July 16th for continuation of hearing.

Dr. Bah who was convicted and sentenced by the High court to 2 years mandatory jail term is on trial before the said court on the said charge. He denied any wrong doing.

According to the particulars of offence, the aforesaid person sometimes in the month of January, 2013, at State House in the City of Banjul, Republic of the Gambia, abused the authority of his office as Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service by interfering with the recommendation and posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure of nomination, thereby committed an offence.