A magistrate court in Banjul heard yesterday that the accused Gam-petroleum officials have been detained for over a month without bail. Lead Counsel Ida Drammeh, made the remarks on Tuesday, before magistrate Omar Cham.  The court should grant bail to the accused persons, because since 22 June they have been in custody, she said while invoking the constitution.

Ms. Sira Wally Ndow Njai, Momodou O.S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Edrissa Mass Jobe, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Taal, Seedy Kanyi, Noah Touray, Louie Moses Mendy and Cherno Marena, were arrested on June 22nd.  Lawyer Drammeh argued that magistrate Cham, has the jurisdiction to grant bail to the accused persons.

“The constitution is a living document, and the court has the power to grant bail to the accused persons,” she said.

The accused persons have been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, neglect of official duty, giving false information to a public servant and economic crime specified offences Act.

Magistrate Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday adjourned the case involving Sira Wally Ndow Njai, Momodou O.S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Edrissa Mass Jobe, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Taal, Seedy Kanyi, Noah Touray, Louie Moses Mendy and Cherno Marena, for ruling.
The accused persons were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, neglect of official duty, giving false information to a public servant and economic crime specified Offences Act. The prosecution alleges that Sira Wally Ndow Njai and co somtime in 2015, in Banjul and its diverse places in The Gambia, collectively failed to go through a major tendering board prior to awarding the contract to March Trading, and also failed to form a technical committee to address the board on technical matters.

The prosecution also went on to alleged that sometime in 2015 and 2016, in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, collectively came together to award and sign a contract with March Trading knowing or having reasons to believe that the contract was not genuine.

According to the prosecution, Sira Wally Ndow sometime in 2015, in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, gave an impression to His Excellency the President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia that March Petroleum would build a refinery and petrol stations for GNPC in The Gambia, knowingly or having reason to believe it to be false.

Sira Wally Ndow and co, the prosecution went on sometime in 2015, in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, collectively came together to award and sign a contract with March Trading, knowingly or having reason to believe that the contract was not authentic and thereby caused a loss of over US$12 million to the economy of The Gambia.

That Sira Wally Ndow and co sometime in 2015, in Banjul and its diverse places in The Gambia, collectively came together to award and sign a contract with March Trading, knowingly or having reason to believe that the contract was not authentic and, therefore, the travel to Dubai has caused loss of D3, 610,656 to the economy of The Islamic Republic of The Gambia.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Awa Sisay-Sabally, lawyer Badou Conteh and lawyer Lamin Camara, have all announced their representations for the accused persons. They also asked the magistrate to grant bail to the accused persons.

Police Prosecutor ASP A. Manga informed the court that the accused persons might jump bail if  released on bond.  He also said that the investigation is still ongoing. Mr. Manga urged magistrate Cham to remand the accused persons in the interest of protecting the investigations.

The detainees were accordingly remanded into custody.  Magistrate Cham is expected to issue a ruling on Wednesday.

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