23 November 2012

Gambia: 'My Allowances Are Personal' PW4 Testifies in Mambanyick Njie's False Information Trial

Bakary L Dahaba, alias 'Trema', yesterday, 22 November 2012, informed the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe that the allowances he received from Gambia Football Association (GFA) are personal, while testifying as the fourth prosecution witness (PW4) in the ongoing alleged false information trial involving former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mambanyick Njie.

Mr. Dahaba told the court that he is currently the administrator of national teams of all categories of football, adding that sometimes in May 2012, he was called at the Fraud and Commercial Unit at the Police Headquarters in Banjul where he was asked about fraudulent matters regarding the GFA such as lack of retirement of imprest by the GFA.

PW4 said during the cause of investigation at the fraud squad, he realized that his name was mentioned in one of the documents written by the accused person about his lack of retirement of imprest from a trip to Equatorial Guinea. He said he was asked to write a statement in relation to that and which he did. He added that he has never received any imprest from the said ministry and his job was purely administrative which he said he has been doing since 2003, adding that he was later attached to the senior national team. He said he received allowances from the Executive Secretary of Gambia for Goal.

Mr. Dahaba further told the court that The Gambia was supposed to play a friendly march with Equatorial Guinea on the 29th of March 2011 and they were supposed to travel from Banjul to Malabo on the 27th of March 2011 but he was suddenly was called at the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Executive Secretary on the 21st of March 2011.

According to him, the reason why he was called to the said ministry was for them to discuss about the said football march between the two countries and that he was told by the then Permanent Secretary that the Ministry was supposed to be responsible for their travelling cost and hotel accommodation but that they were not having money and therefore Gambia for Goal should take care of the financial burden. He said instead of the national foreign players coming to Banjul, they should go directly to Malabo.

Mr. Dahaba said he had to go as an advance party, adding that the sum of eight hundred Euros (€800.00) was paid to him for five nights in Malabo which, he said, was received from the Executive Secretary of Gambia for Goal.

Asked whether he was aware of any financial malpractice at the GFA by Sergeant Manga, the Prosecutor, the witness responded "not at all".

According to the witness, his function as the administrator of national teams is to send foreign players to different clubs as submitted to him by the coach as well as to inform the ministry about their plans and activities.

Under cross examination by senior counsel, Antuman Gaye, the witness told the Court that he was employed in 1999 as Regional Coordinator and that he was a coach prior to his employment at the GFA. He added that he is Administrator or the Director of FIFA Goal Project.

Responding to another question asked by counsel, the witness testified as an administrator of the national technical training centre he was not involved in training.

When asked by counsel whether he is a qualified coach, he responded in the positive, adding that he obtained his certificates from FIFA and CAF.

The witness told the court that he can't remember the name of the hotel he stayed in Malabo because he had travel many times with the national team; that could not remember how much he paid per night at the hotel as well as how much he paid for food.

Mr. Dahaba told the court that he did not render accounts to show how he spent the money but admitted that he was given receipts from the hotel.

When asked by counsel if he can produce the receipts, the witness said he cannot produce them because his allowances were personal.

At this juncture, counsel indicated to him that he cannot prove to the court that he spent the money for the purpose it was meant for but the witness informed the court that his allowances were personal and that he was not supposed to render account. He said he is not obliged to render account regarding his allowances.

Hearing continues on the 3rd of December, 2012.

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