By Mamadou Dem
Lang Conteh, former Manager of Kanilai Family Farms, on Wednesday, 12 August, told the lower court in Banjul that he had never stolen any money regarding the renovation and refurbishment of the company’s head office near the Albert Market in Banjul.
Continuing with his defence, Mr. Conteh told the court that he has been charged with the same amount that he has spent which is D1, 538,804.95 (one million five hundred and thirty-eight thousand eight hundred and four dalasis and ninety five bututs).
“How can you have your cake and eat it?” he asked.
He added “At the same time it is quite evident, therefore, that it is not possible to steal the same amount that has been confirmed was spent on the said project.”
“This amount has been certified by the investigators as genuinely and bonafidely spent for the renovation and refurbishment of the Kanilai Family Farm head office located at the Albert Market (Banjul),” he said.
Mr. Conteh further told the court that it is beyond the preponderance of evidence that he has in fact stolen that amount which, he said, is impossible. “I have never stolen any money. There is no evidence to support that contention either,” he emphasized.
The accused finally disclosed told the court that there are still some outstanding amounts he owed to people that were working in that project; adding that the debts are yet to be paid.
The former manager of the said farm earlier testified that he had never received any funds from Colonel Lamin Sanneh, former State Guard Commander.
At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to August 20, 2015 for cross-examination by the state.
It would be recalled that Mr. Conteh was arraigned on the 7 July, 2014, charged with a single count of “theft” contrary to the laws of the Gambia.
Prosecutors are alleging that the accused, sometimes in 2012-2013 respectively, in the city of Banjul, have stole the sum of One million five hundred and thirty eight thousand eight hundred and four dalasis ninety-five bututs (D1, 538,804.95) being the property of Kanilai Family Farm and thereby committed an offence.
Mr. Conteh, however, denied any wrong doing.