By Rohey Jadama
Modou Gaye, a police officer yesterday 7 July 2015 testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3) in the trial involving Pa Malick Ceesay, the erstwhile National Assembly Member for Lower Saloum Constituency and former Coordinator of National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), and Ismaila Njie, the former Accountant of NEDI.
He appeared before Justice Simeon Ateh Abi of Banjul High Court.
The state was represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions and Lawyer Edward Gomez appeared for the accused persons.
Mr. Gaye told the court that he is a Police officer, attached to the fraud squad of the police headquarters. He further added that he lives in Banjul and that he was part of the panel of investigator. He said he got to know the accused persons through the investigations some time last year in March.
“The directive was from the office of the President addressed to the Inspector General of Police to investigate an audited report of NEDI for 2009-2010 and we did an investigation with regards to the said report,” said Officer Gaye. He added that an investigation panel was formed which he headed and that the accused persons were invited for questioning.
PW1 said they obtained cautionary statements from the accused persons. At this juncture, the DPP applied to tender the said statements as exhibits. There was no objection from Counsel Edward Gomez.
Officer Gaye added that a letter was sent to the Gambia Public Procurement Authority and Ministry of Finance to seek for expert opinion about the queries raised on the audited reports of NEDI. He added that both institutions responded to the letter.
The said letters were also admitted and marked as exhibit E.
He also told the court that they featured Farouk Trading in their investigations and Farouk trading is a business owned by one Demba Jallow (PW1). He added that goods were procured and which later were disbursed to vendors as loans and a procurement invoice was issued by Mr. Jallow to NEDI and that payment was done by instalment in respect of the goods.
However, he added that there was a remaining balance of D45,000 and that the said amount was paid to Mr Jallow during the course of their investigations. He disclosed that there were receipts issued to NEDI by Farouk Trading. The said receipts were also admitted and marked as exhibits F and F1 respectively without any objection from the defence counsel.
The case was adjourned to 8 July 2015 at 10 am for continuation of testimony of PW3.