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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Agric officials released on D1 million bail

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Sariyang MK Jobarteh, the director of the Microfinance Centre and Abie Samba, an accountant at the Ministry of Agriculture appeared before Magistrate Sheriff Tabally charged with eight count. A third and fourth accused, Alfusainey Jobarteh and Moriba Danso, training manager and accounts clerk of the centre, were also granted bail in the sum of D250, 000 with one Gambian surety each.

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Jobarteh and Samba’s charges include neglect of official duties, disobedience of statutory duties, total disregard to Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) Act, stealing, and running financial intermediation without licence. Jobarteh and Danso each face a single charge of neglect of official duties. They all pleaded innocent to the said charges.

Detailing these charges yesterday morning, Police Prosecutor Sergeant Colley, informed the court that between May 2009 and 2010, as executive director and accountant, Sariyang and Abie “neglected official duties by providing goods valued up to D150, 000 without recourse to the three quotations as required by the GPPA Act”.

On the second count, Abie Samba, as accountant between 2009 and 2012 at Bakau, neglected duties by failing to number payment vouchers which make the accountability into the expenditure at the centre vague. On count three, Jobarteh and Samba, neglected duties by unlawfully disbursing loans to the tune of D3,372,466 without obtaining licence from Central Bank of The Gambia.

The two are also charged with disobedience to statutory duties by disregarding the GPPA Act by unlawfully making purchases of goods valued at D816,950 without competitive bidding from various suppliers as required by the Act, thereby exposing Microfinance Centre to the risk of purchasing less quality goods. 

They have also been charged with stealing D490,000 given by Social Development Fund for capacity building, and D77,000 being the cost of a motorcycle refunded by Shyben A Madi & Sons Company which was not accounted for as property of Microfinance Centre. In 2007, the two allegedly managed and operated a line of credit by issuing farm implements and cash loans with interest to farmers in the name of Gambia River Basin Development Organisation, without obtaining licence from the Central Bank of The Gambia.

The last count charged all four officials with neglect by failing to keep proper records of the activities of the Micro-Finance Promotions Centre to ensure transparency. All the accused pleaded not guilty. The case has been adjourned to 30 July 2014 for the trial proper to begin. 

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