By Rohey Jadama
Mr. Ebrima Jawara, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, who is standing trial before Justice Muhammed Dan Azumi Balarabe at the High Court in Banjul was denied bail yesterday 28th September,2015, while his co-accused, Dr. Alasan Bah, was granted bail in the sum of 10 million dalasis.
In his ruling, the presiding judge said Mr. Jawara applied for bail pursuant to section 19sections and subsections24 (3) of the constitution and 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code. “I see the applicant as an ordinary citizen who should walk freely in the streets of the Gambia and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
He, however, indicated that Mr. Jawara as a permanent secretary has privilege circumstance in the government and wielded influence and will interfere with witnesses and investigations if granted bail.
“Accordingly, the bail of the applicant is refused and the prosecution should hasten to arraign the accused person within 14 days,” ruled Justice Balarabe.
Meanwhile, in his ruling on the bail application of Dr. Alasan Bah, the trial judge said the affidavit in support of the motion for bail was deposed to by one Njaimeh Ndure, exhibited with the charge sheet at the BMC and an additional affidavit exhibited with the medical report from Sheikh Zayid Eye Care.
Justice Balarabe ordered the accused to be remanded at the mile two clinic and be escorted to Sheikh Zayid Eye Care and that he should have access to food and fresh clothing.
“Accordingly, bail is granted to the applicant in the sum of 10 million dalasis to be paid cash to the registrar of the high court…… the bank to guarantee, in case the applicant absconds the said amount be forfeited to the state,” ruled the presiding judge.
Readers could recall that the prosecutors had earlier presented at the lower court in Banjul a ten count indictment against the aforesaid persons ranging from ‘Stealing by Person in Public Service’, ‘Abuse of office’, ‘Stealing by clerk or servants’, ‘Theft to four counts of Economic Crime’, and of which they denied culpability.
By Rohey Jadama