By Rohey Jadama
Lawyer Edward Gomez, defence counsel for Pa Malick Ceesay, the former – National Assembly Member for Lower Saloum Constituency and the ex-coordinator of the National Enterprise for Development Initiative (NEDI); and Ismaila Njie, the former accountant of the same organisation, yesterday, 9 July 2015 continued cross-examination of Modou Gaye , the third prosecution witness before Justice Simeon Ateh Abi of the Banjul High Court.
“You Earlier told the court that you headed the investigation, in your course of investigation were you able to establish when NEDI was established?”, asked Counsel Gomez. “Yes it was established in 2009.
“Officer, are you sure that it was established in 2009?” “Yes” responded the witness.
“With regards to PW2 where you able to establish whether she has a guarantor with regards to NEDI?” “There was no guarantor”.
“Was the tailoring business established by a guarantor?” “Not to my knowledge.”
“Did you find out?” “I can’t remember.
“After all this investigation was the report submitted to the Inspector General of Police?” The witness responded in the positive. “Do you have a copy of it?” “It was attached to the case file”.
“My lord the said report will be vital to our defence and I humbly apply for the DPP to produce the report”, said Lawyer Gomez.
The said report was shown to the witness and he identified. The defence applied to tender it as an exhibit and there was no objection from the DPP. It was admitted and marked as an exhibit.
“Officer, are you familiar with the content of this document?” The witness responded in the positive.
“Are you telling this court that all the content is true?” The witness responded in the positive.
“Are you sure that exhibits tendered through you are true as witness of truth?” The witness responded in the affirmative.
“Were you able to establish that since the inception of NEDI the accounts were never audited, it was the very first time just before this matter came to this court?” “No.”
Testimony of PW4
Ida Jeng an assistant Secretary from NEDI testified as the fourth prosecution witness. She told the court that she started working with NEDI in 200 and in that year she was the secretary and a temporal staff. She told the court that she knows the accused persons in the duck.
Ms. Jeng further told the court that the first accused is her head and that she works directly under him. PW4 told the court that her mum was sick and the first accused told her to apply for a loan of D50,000, which she did.
At this juncture a document was shown to the witness which she identified as the application form. The DPP applied to tender it as an exhibit. There was no objection from the defence counsel. It was admitted and marked as exhibit K.
Continuing her testimony, PW4 told the court that there was no payment plan and that she was given an allowance. She further told that court that when she is confirmed as a staff, money will be deducted from her salary. She added that loans are paid to NEDI on a monthly basis.
Ms. Jeng told the court that she normally collects loan money on behalf of the accountant but that she cannot remember how many times. She said normally gives the accountant the money collected upon his return. She said in 2013 Modou Gaye (PW3) told her that she was needed in the fraud squad office.
Under cross-examination by Lawyer Edward Gomez the witness was asked whether those payments were handed to the Coordinator when the accountant is not around. The witness responded in the negative.
“Of the D50, 000 you received as a loan, did the first accused request any part of that money?” “No”
“Were you the only NEDI staff who received money from NEDI?” “No”.
At this stage the case was adjourned till 29 July 2015 at 2pm for continuation of hearing.