The Banjul Magistrates Court last week ordered that Mr Fadera’s statement be made available to the defence after lawyer for the former secretary general and minister of presidential affairs demanded the statement made at the National Intelligence Agency.
Njogu Bah is on trial for the appointment of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to The Gambia’s Mission at the United Nations without following the proper procedure of nomination. He pleaded not guilty.
When the case resumed yesterday for continuation of cross-examination of Mr Fadera, the director of public prosecution, Saleh Barkun, urged the court to ‘discharge’ the application earlier made by lawyer Lamin Mboge for them to produce the statement. Mr Fadera was not in court but the chief prosecutor said: “I urged the court to discharge the last order made for the state to produce the statement of Dawda Fadera.” He said there was an earlier order made when Magistrate Lamin Mbaye was presiding over the case. “We are still searching for the statement and we will make it available to the defence if we lay our hands on it,” he said.
Lawyer Mboge on the other hand said his last application granted by the court was a reminder for the state to produce Mr Fadera’s statement for the purpose of cross-examination. “Since the filing of the notice, the documents have not been served to the defence to enable us prepare for cross-examination. PW1 [NIA officer] told this court that Mr Fadera’s statement is in the prosecution file. The burden is on the prosecution to tell the court why they have not served the defence with the witness statement,” Mboge said.
The magistrate said she will adjourn the case to rule on it but there was an argument on the issue of date between the chief prosecutor and the defence counsel. The prosecutor suggested two weeks but the defence said the matter should be heard within a week. “The court should take judicial notice that the accused is serving a custodial sentence. He is not on bail. He is not a free man now. I urged the court to grant us weekly adjournments in this case,” Mboge said. However, the prosecutor withdrew his application for the case to be heard after two weeks when the magistrate said she will stand down the matter for 30 minutes before she would deliver her ruling on the issue of adjournment. The matter was then adjourned to October 14 .]]>