16 November 2012

Gambia: Mambanjick Njie's Trial Progresses

The criminal trial involving the state against Mambanjick Njie, the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports on Thursday proceeded before the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe with the hearing of the first prosecution witness' evidence.

Detective Cadet Inspector Momodou Baldeh, a police officer attached to the Fraud Squad of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) in Banjul who testified as the first prosecution witness (PW1) informed the court that sometime in April 2012, his office received a petition from the IGP.

He added that based on the said petition, a panel of investigators was instituted to look into the way forward at the Gambia Football Association as the subject matter of the petition was the way forward for the GFA and the petition was signed by the accused person. According to him, while investigating they looked at all the issues and called all the people concerned and a report was prepared which was sent to the Office of the President by their high command.

The witness identified the petition letter and the police prosecutor Sergeant Manga applied to tender it in evidence as an exhibit but the accused objected and said that the petition is not admissible in the court because he was acting for and on behalf of an institution and the content represent entirely the views of an institution, so if the Ministry of Youth and Sports is not charged with giving false information, he should not be because the petition is in the letterhead of the Ministry and not his own address.

The prosecutor, however responded that the said document is relevant to the case and further based his submission on Section 3 of the Evidence Act. The court in its ruling admitted the petition and it was marked as exhibit A. PW1 also identified the investigation report which was also tendered and admitted as exhibit B by the court.

During cross-examination of the witness by the accused, PW1 said based on their investigations they did not figure out any financial mismanagement at GFA as claimed in the petition letter, because what was given to the GFA were funds for their travel allowances which were accounted for and the documents showing all that are in the case file.

At that juncture the case was adjourned to November 21st 2012 for continuation of hearing.

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