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Friday, July 19, 2024

Perm secs meeting delays Juwara, Njogu trials

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The Banjul Magistrates Court was expected to hear the evidence of the sixth state witness in the case of Lamin Waa Juwara, former lands minister.

However, when the case was called yesterday, state prosecutor, Mam Jobe told Principal Magistrate Hillary Abeke that their witness, a permanent secretary, was in an “official meeting” and would be occupied for the rest of the week. 

The case was adjourned to June 30.

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Lamin Waa Juwara, Hamidou Jallow, principal lands and evaluation officer, and one Tamsir Onassis Konteh are standing trial on eight counts of conspiracy to commit felony, obtaining money by false pretense, negligence of official duties, disobedience to lawful order, making false document, uttering false document and abuse of office, all contrary to the Laws of The Gambia.

Mr Juwara is accused of willful negligent act that caused plots of land to be allocated as compensation to Mr Konateh with knowledge that the said plots were already allocated to Kanilai Family Farms and Mr Basirou Sambou.

Tamsir Onasis Konteh is accused of making a document purported to be land title documents issued by the alkalo of Tanji village in order to claim compensation in respect of plots acquired for Tanji Residential Layout. Hamidou Jallow is accused of obtaining D300,000 from one Edward Sambou for a plot of land at Tanji Residential Layout with knowledge that the said plots were allocated to him under questionable circumstances.

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They pleaded not guilty to all charges. Five witnesses have so far testified for the state.

Meanwhile the case of Njogu Bah, former secetary general and minister of Presidential Affairs has been adjourned too. According to state prosecutor, M Mendy, their witness was also in a meeting too.

Yusupha Dibba, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence had testified as the state’s second witness. He was expected to be cross-examined by accused lawyer Lamin Mboge who was also not in court.

Dr Njogu Bah is standing trial on a single charge of abuse of office at the Banjul Magistrates Court. He is accused of interfering with the recommendation and posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure for nomination while he was the head of the civil service. He pleaded not guilty.

He was charged after he was convicted by the Special Criminal Division to a two-year jail term on charges of conspiracy and abuse of office together with the former attorney general Lamin Jobarteh and former solicitor general Pa Harry Jammeh.


By Binta Bah


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