Shortly after receiving directives from The Office to not grant bail to former Solicitor general, Cherno Marena and the rest of the board members of The Gambia National Petroleum Company, the police are reported to have held a meeting at The Police Headquarters in Banjul instructing the magistrate presiding over the case to not grant bail to the accused persons.
Sira Wally Ndow Njie, former Petroleum Minister, Cherno Marena, former Solicitor General, Momodou O.S Badgie, former GNPC managing director, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, former permanent secretary at the ministry of petroleum, Fafa Sanyang, former permanent secretary at the ministry of petroleum, Seedy Kanyi, a member of The GNPC board of directors, Nuha Touray, civil servant, Louie Moses, civil servant, Momodou Taal, board member and Edrissa Mass Jobe, board member are all facing economic crimes charges at The Banjul Magistrate Court.
All ten were arrested and detained last month after The Office of The President announced that it has discovered one of the most serious economic crimes in government during the past 22 years of the second republic.
The accused persons who were all arraigned before the court today were represented by Ida Drammeh, I Richards, Loubna Farage, Hawa Sisay Sabally, Janet Sallah Njie, Badou Conteh, R.Y. Mendy, Lamin S Camara and Abdoulie Sissoho who applied bail on their behalf. According to sources, police objected to bail stating that the accused persons are flight risk and also if granted bail they will interfere with the witnesses. This objection by ASP Manga came after the magistrate presiding over the case, Omar Cham was invited to the police headquarters where he was instructed to not grant bail. Principal Magistrate Cham was at the briefing with Police Commissioner Touray and ASP Manga who both instructed him to not grant bail saying that dictator Jammeh has special interest in the case.
The case is now adjourned to Wednesday, July 13 for hearing where the Magistrate will make a decision whether to grant them bail or not. Sources say they are not likely to be granted bail because of the executive directive and also for the fact that the Magistrate has a preconceived mind that he has no jurisdiction to hear counts 4 and 5 of the charges which are all economic crimes.
Now that The State is exposed, it will be interesting to see what they will come up with in tomorrow’s bail hearing. We will keep you all posted.