By Rohey Jadama Barrister Edward Gomez, defence Counsel, has cross- examined Modou Gaye, a police officer and third prosecution witness (PW3) in the trial involving Pa Malick Ceesay, former Coordinator of National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) and also the erstwhile National Assembly Member for Lower Saloum Constituency, and Ismaila Njie, the former Accountant of NEDI.The state was represented by Hadi Saleh Bakum, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the accused persons were represented by Counsel Edward A. Gomez. When PW3 was asked by the defence whether he had earlier told the court that he headed the investigation of the accused persons, he responded in the positive. “Now in doing so did you appraise yourself with NEDI?” enquired the defence counsel. The witness responded in the positive. “Are you satisfied that NEDI was properly constituted according to law?” asked Counsel Gomez. The witness replied in the positive. Barrister Gomez asked, “Are you equally satisfied that the accused persons were strictly complying according to financial instructions?” quizzed lawyer Gomez. “No”, responded the witness. Barrister Gomez asked, “Were you satisfied that at the very inception of NEDI the staff operating in the institution were properly constituted?” “I don’t know. Barrister Gomez asked, “Did you find out whether the accused persons are servants working under a contract?” The witness answered, “ “They were employed as civil servants.” Barrister Gomez asked, “Did you find out whether there was any contract between them and the Gambia government?” The witness answered, “All I know was that they were civil servants.” Barrister Gomez asked, “Did you find out whether they were acting on contract with NEDI?” The witness answered, “Yes because they provided their appointment letters to the panel and the second accused persons own was given to us and we put it in our file, while the first accused claimed that he could not find his appointment letter.” Barrister Gomez asked, “In which year was it dated?” The witness replied, “I can’t remember.” Barrister Gomez said, “I put it to you that at the inception of NEDI matters operated in a round circle.” The witness answered, “I do not agree to that.” Barrister Gomez added, “I further put it to that the accused were volunteers at the time and they were not paid salaries but allowances.” The witness answered, “I don’t agree to that.” Barrister Gomez asked, “Why don’t you agree because this statement is not true?” The witness replied, “Yes.” Barrister Gomez asked, “You will also agree that the ministry responsible was not operating under financial instruction?” The witness replied, “I may not know whether the ministry was operating as such because we were investigating NEDI not the ministry.” Barrister Gomez asked, “Do you remember telling this court on equivocally that the secretary of state responsible was not compliant with Financial Instructions?” The witness replied, “I did not say that. What I said was no loan should have been given by NEDI without the Secretary of state initiating it.” The defence counsel asked the PW3 whether NEDI was operating in the purview of a line ministry in violation of financial instruction. In response, the witness insisted that NEDI was an institution of its own. “Officer I put it to you that you are contradicting yourself and I will elucidate that contradiction, you told this court that the Secretary of state was to initiate a loan therefore NEDI was not an isolated institution but an appendage of a ministry,” said barrister Gomez. “Yes”, admitted the witness. At this juncture, Lawyer Gomez applied for an adjournment for him to be served with the exhibits tendered in court and to go through the said exhibits and which was granted by the court. The case will resume on the 9 July, 2015 at 11am for continuation of hearing.]]>
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