By Rohey Jadama

Charges against five agriculture officials on trial at the high court in Banjul were amended yesterday, 29 June 2015. Ada GayeWhile three names on the charge sheet were no longer there, three new agriculture officials were now charged.

The three Agriculture officials whose names are no longer on the list are Madam Ada Gaye, the erstwhile Permanent Secretary Ministry  of Agriculture, Mr.Foday Jadama, Deputy Director of the Soil and Water Management Services, and Dr Abdou Ceesay, Director of the Department of Livestock Services.

Lawyer Sheriff M. Tambedou appeared for the first accused person, Madam Ada Gaye while Counsel Lamin S. Camara announced his representation of the other accused persons and the state was represented by the DPP.

The DPP told the court that they had filed amended charges on 11 June 2015.

Sheriff M. Tambedou Counsel for the 1st accused said the DPP should have withdrawn the charge sheet they filed earlier.

Responding to Counsel Tambedou, the DPP said there is no need to withdraw it hence the amended charge sheet will supersede now.

The trial judge in his ruling said the amended charge sheet dated 11th of June now supersedes.

“I wish to apply that the first accused be discharged because she does not appear in the amended charge sheet. I also urged the court to withdraw all the orders made against her”, said S.M Tambedou.

  1. S. Camara associated himself to the position of S.M Tambedou for the 3rd and 5thaccused persons respectively.  He urged the court to vacate all court orders in relation to the charge been struck out and discharged.

Counsel Camara also applied for the accused Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh be granted bail and suggested the court’s discretion as per their previous bail conditions. There was no objection raised by the DPP.

  1. M. Sissohor counsel for 3rd and 4th accused persons in the new indictment urged the court to impose a reasonable bail condition on them.

In his ruling the presiding judge said bail is granted to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons in the new indictment in the sum of D500,000 with two Gambia sureties. The accused shall submit their travelling documents to the principal registrar of the High court. However, the previous bail conditions of Fafanding Fatajo and Omar Jammeh were maintained.

The case will resume on 20 July 2015 at 12noon.

The prosecutions preferred 18 criminal charges against Mr. Fafanding Fatajo, Mr. Burang Danjo, Alieu Gaye, Bakary Kujabi and Omar Jammeh with multiple counts of Neglect of Official Duties, Conspiracy, Forgery, and uttering false documents.

When the charges were read to them, they all denied culpability. See the next edition for the details of the indictment.