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Friday, July 12, 2024

Man in court for allegedly forging letters from OP

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By Aisha Tamba & Fatou Saho

One Mustapha Mboob has been charged with four counts including forging a document from the Office of President directing the director general of Gambia Public Procurement Authority to appoint him with immediate effect, forging another letter directing the DG of GPPA to offer monetary assistance to the Office of the President to buy Tobaski rams for imams and well-wishers.

Testifying before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang, Phoday M.K. Jaiteh, the DG of GPPA, said on 13th of December 2022, they received a letter purportedly from the Office of the President to employ Mustapha which they did as human resource assistant at the head office on Kairaba Avenue.

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He further explained that on 8 June, Mustapha brought another letter purportedly from OP requesting an amount of D100, 000 for assistance to buy Tobaski rams for imams. “I was not in town but I acted in good faith as per the direction of the letter presented by Mustapha,” DG Jaiteh told the court.

At this juncture, police prosecutor ASP Touray tendered the second letter with a voucher of D100, 000 as evidence.

He stated that the two letters had the State House letterhead and were signed. “Even though I did not know the signatories but the letters were supposedly signed on behalf of the secretary and Chief of Staff just as GPPA officers signed on behalf of the director. These were the presumptions of the fact at that time. My state of mind was honesty, sincerity with no ulterior motive,” he noted.

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He narrated that after issuing the check, he had a reasonable doubt prompting him to verify the letter with a call to the chief of staff at the Office of the President who told him that the letters could not have been real.

DG Jaiteh explained that he then withheld the cheque authorised for the purported purchase of rams.

He said immediately after his appointment, Mustapha quickly applied for a loan. “It was approved but he did not benefit,” he stated.

During cross-examination, the accused Mustapha Mboob, asked DG Jaiteh to tell the court how letters from institutions are sent. He put it to him that letters are sent to institutions by messengers and asked whether he is a messenger when he took the letters to GPPA.

However, Director Jaiteh responded: “I acted in good faith and presumption because the letter had State House letterhead.”

Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to 28 September.

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