26 November 2012

Gambia: PW3 Testifies in Mambanyick Njie's Trial

The former administrator of the Gambia national football team on Thursday testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3) in the criminal trial involving the state against Mambanyick Njie, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Bakary L. Dahaba, alias Terema, of New Yundum, testified before Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

In his testimony, PW3 told the court that in the month of May 2012 he was called at the Fraud Squad office in Banjul for questioning about a complaint of a fraudulent matter (audit books and retirement of impresses at the GFA). He said during the investigation, he realised that his name was written on a document written by the accused person related to his lack of retirement of his allowance on his trip to Equatorial. Guinea and he was asked to write a statement to that effect, which he did. According to him, he had never received any impress from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, adding that his job was entirely administrative.

The witness revealed that on his trip to Equatorial Guinea for a friendly match on March 29th 201, he was given allowance by the Gambia For Goal.He further explained that on the 21st March 2011, he was called by the executive secretary of Gambia For Goal, Ebou Secka, to go to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Upon his arrival at the said Ministry, according to him, he found the then permanent secretary with Ebou Secka, who was quick to tell him that the Ministry was to take care of the financial cost of that match but they (the Ministry) did not have the money.

Secka, he added, further informed him that The Gambia For Goal would take care of the financial burden but things would have to change as foreign based Gambian players would go to Malabo straight instead of coming to Banjul.

Dahaba, who informed the court that he went to Malabo as an advanced party, disclosed that he was paid 800 Euros as his five nights' allowance; which money he said was received from Ebou Secka. He went on to assert that he was not aware of any financial malpractice at the Gambia Football Association, as his function was to send correspondence to the players as requested by the coach.

During cross-examination of the witness by the defence counsel for the accused, Antouman Gaye, he informed the court that he was employed in 1999 as a regional coordinator and he was a coach well before his appointment by the GFA. He pointed out that he was never appointed as a coach by the GFA.

PW3 told the court that he is an administrator and the director of the FIFA Goal Project at the National Technical Training Centre and looks into the day-to-day affairs of the said place. The 800Euros, the witness said, was for his hotel accommodation and feeding, but was quick to state that he cannot remember the name of the hotel because he travelled a lot with the national football team. Dahaba further stated that he did not account for how he spent the said 800 Euros, but he was given receipts, which he said are no more with him. He finally said that he was not under any obligation to render account for that 800 Euros as his trip was official and the money paid to him was personal

The case was adjourned to December 3rd 2012 for continuation of hearing.

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