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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Ex-GFA exec spent money without authority – Mambanyick Njie

 Njie said he wrote to the Office of the President asking for the football executive committee to be dissolved because they were found ‘wanting’. 

“For three years, the executive failed to abide by the dictates of the constitution. For three years they were spending football money without competent authority and that is why precisely clubs that won the league were not given cash prizes and the situation was suffocating, rather than developing football. Besides they used football money to provide themselves with loans, again without competent authority,” Njie said during cross-examination by the prosecutor, Saja Sanyang.

Njie is on trial at the Banjul Magistrates Court accused of giving false information to the Office of the President, that former GFA executives were engaged in financial malpractices and never gave a thorough account of the imprests given to them for international matches and therefore sought approval to dissolve the committee, an information he knew to be false or does not believe to be true. He denied any wrongdoing. Five witnesses, including the treasurer of the GFA have so far testified as state witnesses. He denied any wrong doing.

When he was told that the petition he wrote to the Office of the President brought a setback for the GFA, Mr Njie replied: “That is due rather to the incompetent and inefficiency of the executive committee of the GFA. For the period that they were in office, they did not put in place the mechanism that will guarantee the continuous development of football even after they have left office.”

When the prosecutor put it to Mr Njie that neither he nor the Minister of Youths and Sport had the power to dissolve the executive committee, he replied: “That is not correct. All national sport associations in this country are under the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the sports council and the ministry has the power to intervene at any given time if that particular association is found to be wanting. I had the mandate to write the petition to dissolve the former GFA executive and that was why he [the minister] dissolved them,” Mr Njie said when the prosecutor asked if he has the mandate to write to the Office of the President to dissolve the executive committee.

“Under whose tenure at the GFA did the president gave the Gambia Under-17 players and its officials one million dalasis?” Sanyang further asked. Mr Njie replied: ”During the tenure of the former disbanded executive.” The prosecutor added: “I’m putting it to you that if there were any financial malpractices as you mentioned in your petition, those officials would not have been elected twice”.  But Mr Njie disagreed, saying, “That is far from the truth. The petition contains only the truth.”

The case resumes August 25 for continuation of cross-examination.


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