Lang Conteh Denies ‘Theft’ Charges

By Muhammad Bah

Former Managing Director of the Kanilai Family Farm, Lang Conteh, on Monday, 29 June 2015,  denied the D450, 000 theft charge preferred against him by the prosecution when he was giving his evidence in chief.

Mr. Conteh appeared before Principal Magistrate M.S. Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court to continue his evidence -in-chief.

In his submission, the accused told the Court that he has denied the theft charges due to the fact that he was employed as the Managing Director of Kanilai Family Farm and charged with the responsibility for the renovation of the Export-Import office at its headquarters in Banjul.

Mr. Conteh said this is supposed to be a new business which is different from Kanilai Family Farm. He said his task is to renovate and was given D 450, 000 by Mr. Amadou Samba of GamWater/Gacem for the procurement of office equipment and which he later purchased.

He said the furniture was bought at the MBC furniture located at Kairaba Avenue at D142, 000 and comprised desks, chairs, carpets, cupboards, etc. He said the other items were air conditioners, computers, and printers which were bought at D266, 000. He said this information is contained in pages 30-34 of the police investigative report which was admitted in court as exhibit B.

Mr. Conteh told the court that he received this money because of  a memorandum he wrote to the Office of the President dated 10th October 2012 and addressed to the President through the Secretary General at the time, Dr. Njogu Bah.

He said the memorandum was duly supported by original invoices, including all the purchases made from that 450,000 dalasis and that these are the invoices from Quantum, MBC and other miscellaneous receipts. He added that when he submitted this memorandum to the president’s office, he received a response dated 17th October 2012 acknowledging receipt of his letter and assuring him of the president’s support for the project.

Lamin K. Mboge, counsel for the accused, asked the first defence witness (DW1) whether he had given the full details of the D450, 000 in his memorandum. Mr. Conteh responded in the positive, adding that the letter from the office of the president has even confirmed that he has fully accounted for the amount of D450, 000.

At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to the 13 and 16 July 2015 for continuation.