15 February 2013

Gambia: Four Arraigned for Stealing Gov't Rice

Four persons, namely, Abdoulie Sanyang, Lamin Sanneh, Modou L. Drammeh, all ex-soldiers and one Daniel Balukan, were on Tuesday arraigned before Magistrate Momodou M.S Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

The accused persons are charged with five counts of criminal offences, ranging from conspiracy to commit felony, to store breaking and stealing, all contrary to the Laws of The Gambia.

On count one, the accused persons are charged with conspiracy to commit felony, contrary to Section 368 of the Criminal Code, Cap 10:01 Volume III, Laws of The Gambia 2009. The particulars of the offence revealed that the accused persons in the months of January and February 2013, at Buckle Street in the city of Banjul, conspired and stole 250 bags of (30kgs) rice valued at D112, 500, being properties of The Gambia government.

On count two, they are charged with store breaking. The particulars of the offence stated that the first and second accused persons, on or about the 30th January 2013, at Buckle Street in Banjul, broke and entered into the store of the Gambia government with intent to steal.

The particulars of the offence, on count three of stealing, stated that the first and second accused persons, on or about the 30th January 2013, at Buckle Street in Banjul, stole 10 bags of 30kgs rice valued at D4,500, being the properties of the Gambia government.

According to the particulars of the offence on count four, the first, second and third accused persons, on or about the 3rd February 2013, at Buckle Street in Banjul, allegedly stole 80 bags of 30kgs rice valued at D36,000, being properties of the Gambia government.

On count five; stealing, the particulars of the offence revealed that the second accused, Lamin Sanneh on or about 4th February 2013, at Buckle Street in Banjul, stole 160 bags of 30kgs rice valued at D72,000, being properties of the Gambia government. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At that juncture, the police prosecutor Corporal Badjie applied for the court to remand the accused persons in prison. He said that the prosecution is scared that the accused persons if granted bail will jump bail and flee the country, adding that the investigation into the matter is still ongoing and if granted bail they will also interfere with the witnesses. He finally urged the court to deny them bail.

Responding to the prosecution's application, the three accused persons said that they know nothing about the case, while the fourth accused, Daniel Balukan told the court that he is not part of the matter because he just bought the rice from them [his co-accused persons].

Meanwhile on the court's ruling the presiding magistrate ordered for the three accused persons (ex-soldiers) to be remanded in prison. He further granted the fourth accused person bail in the sum of D200,000 with two Gambian sureties who shall tender their national identity cards to the court.

The case was adjourned to 19th February 2013 for hearing.

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