22 November 2012

Gambia: In Mambanyick Njie's Trial Former GFA Treasurer Testifies

The former treasurer of the dissolved executive of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) on Wednesday testified as the second prosecution witness (PW2) in the criminal trial involving the state against Mambanyick Njie, the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, at the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

Kemo Ceesay, a resident of Busumbala gave his testimony in a hearing presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe.

In his testimony, Ceesay recalled that in April 2012, he received a phone call from detective Cadet Baldeh of the police who asked him to report to their office for questioning, which he did. He told the court that when he went for the said questioning, he met some members of the dissolved GFA executive.

He said Baldeh had told him that they (the officers) were given a responsibility to assert why the GFA did not report the retired impress of the money given to them by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He noted that his response was that he cannot account for money he did not receive and that as the head of the Finance Department, he could not remember receiving money as an impress from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He informed the court that he has not seen the petition in question during and even after the investigation, but that he knows that 80 percent of GFA's revenue comes from FIFA, with the other 20 percent from international and league matches.

PW2 went on to explain that the relationship between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the GFA is that the latter is under the Department of Youth and Sports, which is a technical arm of the ministry that is overseeing everything.

Ceesay however disclosed to the court that the activities of the national team is financed by the Ministry, but was quick to assert that in some cases, they do say money is not available, thus leaving the GFA to take care of it.

Meanwhile, during the cross-examination of the witness by the defence counsel for the accused, Lawyer Antouman Gaye, PW2 told the court that the GFA normally send a budget to the Ministry to bring in players abroad. He again noted that if there is a case that the Ministry doesn't have money, the GFA take up the responsibility.

At that juncture, the case was adjourned to November 22nd 2012 for continuation.

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