Lawyer Lamin Camara also drew the attention of the court to the charge sheet and the nature of the offences and said the court has the power to grant bail to the accused citing the applicant’s affidavit which he said was convincing enough for bail to be granted.
“The conditions for which the accused should be granted bail are all contained in the affidavit in support. The accused will not interfere with any witness in this case; he has sureties who are ready and willing to stand for him. The accused, your lordship, has no record of criminal offences and if granted bail he will not jump bail. He does not pose any flight risk as all his documents are in the custody of NIA since last year,” counsel submitted.
Camara further contended that the state has not given any reasons to the court why the accused should not be given bail and that instead the state was just assuming that if the accused was granted bail he would interfere with investigation and witnesses.
“This is an assumption and the court should not rely on that as the onus is on the state to prove that. The state should have strong and credible evidence to show that if the accused is granted bail he would interferes with the investigation. Mere assumption is not an urgent reason to deny bail to the accused as the offences are all bailable and I urge the court to grant bail to the accused as he is entitled based on the offences he is charged with,” counsel appealed.
The arraigned former finance minister and secretary general and head of civil service is charged with economic crime and negligence of official duties. Prosecutors alleged that while serving as secretary general and head of civil service between 2001 and 2006, Mr Njie willfully caused monetary loss to the government of The Gambia by failing to appropriately advise government on matters relating to the mining operations of Carnegie Minerals Gambia Limited and also by failing to advise the government on the mining activities of Carnegie Minerals, allegations he denied.
Hearing resumes on May 21 for state to reply to Lawyer Camara’s application. Mr Njie remains remanded in custody.
By Baba Sillah]]>