15 September 2017

Gambia: Court Acquits Nawec Official

Principal Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court recently acquitted and discharged Omar Gaye, a revenue collector at NAWEC Branch London Corner after the court upheld the defence submission of no-case-to answer.

Delivering ruling, the trial magistrate disclosed that the accused person was arraigned before the court on a single charge of stealing by person in the public service.

The particulars of offence stated that the accused person, Omar Gaye, on 9 August 2016 at NAWEC Branch, London Corner in the Kanifing Municipality, being employed in the Public Service as a revenue collector under NAWEC and by virtue of that employment stole a medium safe containing the sum of D98,705 being monies collected from cash power sales, the property of NAWEC.

On arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail of D250,000 with two Gambian sureties.

The prosecution, in proving their case, called three witnesses and tendered no exhibits.

The prosecution witnesses were Yunusa Jarra of Hamza Barracks, a Police Officer of Kanifing PIU and presently attached to NAWEC, Serekunda Branch at London Corner, Fatou Darboe of Bakoteh, a civil servant working at NAWEC as revenue collector, and Sutay Barrow of New Yumdum, also a civil servant and working at Finance Department of NAWEC as Senior Revenue Controller.

At the conclusion of the prosecution's case, the defence counsel, Abdoulie Sisoho, addressed the court on a no-case-to answer and filed his briefs on 11 July 2017.

The trial magistrate revealed that the prosecution upon service of the defence no-case-to answer submission informed the court that they have waived their right to reply; instead they would rely on the prosecution's evidence on record.

The trial magistrate said he was convinced from the evidence of the three witnesses that a prima facie case could not be established against the accused person to warrant him to enter his defence.

He further said the evidence adduced by the three prosecution witnesses does not disclose the minimum requirement establishing the offence as charged.

Principal Magistrate Hilary U. Abeke accordingly upheld the submission of no-case-to answer in favour of the accused person, Omar Gaye, and was acquitted.


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