Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

Police Investigator Provides Insight Into Recovery Of Over D4 Million In MoH Corruption Trial

0 483

The Health officials and lawyer Lamin LS Camara

By Landing Ceesay 

A Gambian police investigator has revealed how authorities recovered over D4 million allegedly misappropriated from Global Fund aid meant for the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

Corporal Sheriff S. Corr, a member of the Fraud Squad, testified in court that the money was retrieved from the Health Promotion and Development Organization (HePDO), a sub-recipient of NMCP funds. He explained that HePDO returned the funds in installments after investigations confirmed they were not used for intended purposes.

Continuing his testimony, Corporal Corr elaborated on how these funds were recovered during their extensive investigations.

“During the last proceeding, you told the court that over D4 million was recovered. Can you tell the court how this D4 million was recovered?” Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) AM Yusuf inquired.

Corporal Corr responded, “When it was confirmed that these amounts were spent on the studies, HePDO took the responsibility, and the monies were brought in different amounts.” 

“Who brought these monies in different amounts?” DPP Yusuf further questioned. Corporal Corr.

“It was brought by the second accused (Omar Malleh Ceesay) and his Finance Director, Amadou Kujabi. But in some cases, Amadou brought some money alone. And some amounts were from the two consultants (Muhammed Sissoho, and Basiru Phillott),” Corporal Corr told the court. 

Corporal Corr detailed that the funds were deposited on three separate occasions at the Central Bank of The Gambia, with receipts issued for each transaction. However, only copies of the deposit receipts were available to them, as the originals were retained by the treasury department.

“The original deposit receipts are with the treasury department, we only have copies,” Corporal Corr testified. 

During their investigation into the studies, Corporal Corr informed the court that he couldn’t recall the exact number of individuals they had interacted with. However, he stated that they had engaged with a minimum of four to five individuals in each region.

Corporal Corr asserted that these individuals had confirmed receiving payment for their participation in the studies.

Regarding the statement provided by the second accused person, Omar Malleh Ceesay, Corporal Corr testified that he had assisted him in drafting it. When asked if he could recognize the statement, Corporal Corr affirmed and indicated that it contained his particulars.

The witness was then presented with the statement, and he confirmed it as the one he had guided Omar Malleh Ceesay to write.

“This is the exact statement I guided the second accused to write,” he told the court. 

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), AM Yusuf, proceeded to request the document’s admission into evidence. 

Following a careful review of the document, Counsel LS Camara representing the accused individuals did not raise any objections regarding its admissibility.

With no objections raised, Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of the Gambia accepted the document as evidence and designated it as exhibit P10.

“You also mentioned that you recovered copies of retirement documents during the course of your investigation from the 2nd accused person (Omar Malleh Ceesay). DPP Yusuf asked Corporal Corr. 

“Yes, we did,” Corporal Corr told the court. 

Corporal Corr expressed confidence in his ability to identify the documents due to their inclusion of the contestants’ names.

Subsequently, the documents were presented to the witness for authentication, and he confirmed them as the retirement documents retrieved from the second accused party, Omar Malleh Ceesay.

DPP Yusuf then sought to admit the documents as evidence for identification purposes, indicating they would summon a witness to elucidate their contents.

Hon. Justice Jaiteh advised DPP Yusuf to await the arrival of the designated witness before tendering the documents, citing a lack of provision in the Evidence Act regarding evidence solely for identification purposes.

Turning to Counsel LS Camara, Hon. Justice Jaiteh inquired whether there were any objections to the documents.

Counsel LS Camara responded affirmatively, citing their absence from the provided list and failure to serve them.

Subsequently, Hon. Justice Jaiteh instructed DPP Yusuf to ensure all documents, particularly those intended for use in the trial, were served to the defense.

“So Why did you say that HePDO took responsibility for the monies you recovered,” DPP Yusuf asked the Corporal. 

“When these two consultants were confronted with the amounts against each of their names, they denied receiving such monies. During that time, we were told that Lamin Jarju was late. They further told us that it was Lamin Jarju they were dealing with regarding these monies. So therefore, it was put to them that these monies should be brought back,” Corporal Corr told the court.  

“If you say them, who are you referring to?” DPP Yusuf asked Corporal Corr. 

“I am referring to the second accused (Omar Malleh Ceesay) who was representing HePDO at the time and the two consultants,” Corporal Corr told the court. 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.