By Aisha Tamba
Magistrate Don Njie of the Kanifing court has convicted and sentenced Sheikh Tijan Hydara (not the GANU leader) to a maximum of three years imprisonment with hard labor for pretending to give Spanish visas to four people from whom he obtained the sum of D461, 500.00.
His victims are Fabakary Sanneh, Malang Sanneh, Mamadou Ousman Bah, and Samba Sarr.
The events, which led to the offense occurred in 2020 when Sheikh informed the complainants that he has a traveling package to Spain and assured them that the visa will be given to them within a month.
He confessed at the police station during his arrest that he has no travel package in store but he made that statement with the intention to obtain money from them.
In her judgment, Magistrate Don Njie said the accused person had a premeditated mind and a plan to take a substantial amount from the victims.
She noted that the offense of obtaining money by false pretense is highly prevalent in the country. “The convict has two reports of conviction on the same offense of obtaining money by false pretense, the first being at Bundung court where he was sentenced to pay a fine of 60, 000 dalasis and the other at the Kanifing court where he was also charged with two counts and sentenced to pay a fine of 350, 000 dalasis in default to seven years imprisonment. The court deems it necessary in the interest of public safety to convict you as charged in order not to manipulate people to surrendering their monies to you. I hereby sentence you to a maximum jail term of three years with hard labor and you are fined to pay 50,000 dalasis in default to two years imprisonment.”
She also ordered the convict to be given counseling sessions for the purposes of rehabilitation in order for him to be a changed person after serving his sentence to be a valuable asset to the society.
Regarding the issue of compensation, Magistrate Njie denied the complainants compensation, stating that it is forbidden by the law to enter into such contract and advised the victims to go through counseling to help them invest their hard-earned money into profitable businesses.
Sergeant Saffie Bah appeared for the IGP.