By Baba Sillah
Judicial sources have intimated to The Standard that state prosecutors and police are looking for Demba Sowe, the National Assembly Member for Niamina West.
Sowe is reportedly wanted after his failure to answer to charges of conspiracy and making false document for which he was jointly charged with five others at the High Court in Banjul since 2015.
Mr Sowe was granted police bail and since not been appearing before the court to answer to the charges against him despite a bench warrant for his arrest issued earlier.
A few weeks ago, The Standard interviewed the parliamentarian but he flatly denied standing trial and described allegations leveled against him as “unfounded rumours” being peddled by his political opponents.
“I am not standing any trial as far as I know. I know for sure that a few years ago while I was working for a shipping company called B&KK, I was along with my boss and others reported to the police and later charged with theft following a complaint by one Muhammed Tunkara and others. However, we were all acquitted by the court and since then, I have never been charged or a subject of any trial,” Sowe earlier told The Standard over the phone.
However, when the case came up yesterday before Justice Zainab Jawara-Alamy who took over the case from Justice Simone Abi, the state counsel Mansour Jobe applied for a summon of notice to be served on the sureties of Oumie Saffiatou Jallow to show cause why bail bond should not be forfeited. Counsel argued that he was not aware of any reason for her absence in court and the application was granted by the court.
The presiding judge at that point adjourned the matter to August 3 when the sureties of Oumie Saffiatou Jallow are expected to appear before the court to show cause why bail bond should not be forfeited.
In a widely published case in 2015, Sowe was named alongside other persons namely, Ebrima Kebbeh, Oumie Saffiatou Jallow, Sheikh Dawda Yorke, Alpha Kanté and Kemo Fatty for conspiring among themselves to deceive Mr Muhammed Tunkara, a Gambian based in the UK and his partner by collecting US$161,000 equivalent to D6, 273, 000 on the pretext that they were going to sell 50kg of gold valued at US$1.5 million to them.
They were further accused of making a false document of 50 kilograms of gold dust from Guinea Conakry, which they knew was false. They all denied the charges.
The Standard has also learnt that Justice Abi, the then presiding judge, gave an order back in 2015 for the arrest of Mr Sowe and one Alpha Kanté after they failed to appear in court.
However, Sowe maintained that he had never been called or tried in any court over this matter since his acquittal and discharge by a magistrates court.