State to File New Indictment in 9 Fisheries Official’s Trial

By Rohey Jadama

Hadi Saleh Barkum, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has told the Banjul High Court presided over by Justice Simeon Nfarama DamphaAteh Abi that he needs two more weeks to file a new bill of indictment on some of the accused persons.

The accused persons are Amadou Saine, former permanent secretary, Nfamara Dampha, former Director of Fisheries, Famara Darboe, former acting director of Fisheries, Dr. Bamba Banja, former Permanent Secretary, Kebba Konjira, Joseph Gabiddon, Musa Jawla, Abdoulie Njie and Momodou Njie.

“At the  last adjourned date I made it known to the court that we are going to file a new bill of indictment on some of the accused persons, however, due to some developments and investigations going on regarding the case we could not file a new bill of indictment yet”, said the DPP.

There was no objection from the lawyer who held brief for Lawyer Hawa Sisay Sabally defence counsel for Dr. Bamba Banja.

The application of the DPP was granted and the matter was adjourned till 29 June 2015 at 1pm for hearing.

It could be recalled that the DPP at the last adjourned date told the court that only three people will be charged in the new bill of indictment of the former fisheries officials facing trial.

However, he did not disclose the names of the three concerned former officials but added that investigations are ongoing.

The nine fisheries officials were first arraigned at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on 2 February 2015.

The then trial magistrate ordered the matter to be transferred to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court as it is the proper court mandated by law to try such offences.

Prior to transferring the matter to the high court, the magistrate granted some of the accused persons bail, namely Kebba Konjira, Joseph Gabiddon, Musa Jawla, Abdoulie Njie and Modou Njie, who are the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th accused persons, respectively.

He, however, ordered Amadou Saine, Nfamara Dampha, Nfamara Darboe and Dr. Bamba Banja, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th accused respectively to seek for bail at the high court. He also ordered for them to be kept in prison custody pending their appearance at the high court. The four were later granted bail.

The nine fisheries officials were earlier indicted on eleven counts including neglect of official duty, economic crime and abuse of office, among others.