They are Mr Lamin Fatajo, the former programme coordinator of Rural Finance Project; Mr Lamin Mass, the former administrative manager of the Rural Finance Project; and Mrs Ada Gaye, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
In his bail ruling, Justice Abi said the matters to be taken into consideration for bail to be granted were the nature of the charge, the severity of the punishment and the quality of the evidence available. Other considerations, he said, include likelihood of the accused jumping bail or interfering with witnesses, the criminal record of the accused person if any and the likelihood of a repetition of the offence if granted bail.
Justice Abi said section 99(1) of the criminal procedure code (CPC) gave the court the discretion to grant bail to anyone other than a person accused of an offence punishable with death or life imprisonment. He noted however that this discretion must be exercised with due regard to the facts and circumstances of each case.
He said that in the present bill of indictment, the highest amount of possible financial involvement alleged against the first and second accused or applicants is on count one of the information which is the sum of 117,521 dalasi allegedly authorised to be paid as salary advances. He said count three which is on economic crime alleges a financial loss of 18,000 dalasi. He added that for the second and third accused, the allegation in count four is authorisation without approval of payment of the sum of 14,000 dollars.
“Looking at the particular facts of these applications of the charges in the information and in view of the position of the state, I will exercise my discretion in favour of all the accused or applicants and grant bail to each of the applicants on the following terms,” Justice Abi said.
The first bail applicant, Mr Lamin Fatajo, was granted bail in the sum of 500,000 dalasi with one Gambian surety in the like sum. The second applicant, Mr Lamin Mass, had his bail bond pegged at one million dalasis with one Gambian surety, while the third applicant, Mrs Ada Gaye went out on bail of 700,000 dalasis.
The bail conditions further state that each surety shall deposit with the principal registrar of the high court a recognised document of title to a landed property of a value not less than the sum of the recognisance entered into on behalf of each of the accused persons, together with a valuation report on such a property. They also state that each applicant shall deposit with the principal registrar of the high court, their Gambian passport and any other travelling documents they possess pending the hearing and determination of the case against them.
The case is adjourned to 15 April, 2015.]]>