By Mamadou Dem
Roheyatou Kah, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, and fourth prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving Muntaga Sallah, former Permanent Secretary of the said ministry, yesterday, 27 January, ended her testimony against Mr. Sallah.
Giving her defence under cross-examination by the defence counsel Janet Sallah Njie, who was together with Loubna Farage, she reminded the witness that the only comment she made at the meeting was for them to abide by the Gambia Public Procurement Act (GPPA) Regulations since the amount involved was way above the threshold, adding that the threshold is one million dalasi.
“I put it to you that that is not accurate and that you are not familiar with the GPPA Regulations,” said Sallah’s attorney. “I believe I am familiar with the GPPA Regulations,” Ms. Kah replied.
“You also told this court that you assumed the funds used were coming from CAMAC. Is that correct?” asked counsel. “Yes,” PW4 replied. She added that she is aware that a letter was written terminating CAMAC’s contract.
“Are you also aware that if these funds were not utilised, they would have been returned to CAMAC?” “No, I’m not aware.”
“I put it to you that the funds would have been returned if they were not utilised based on the agreement.” The witness said, “I don’t know whether it is accurate or not.”
At this juncture, the defence announced that they have no further questions for the witness.
Consequently, Principal Magistrate Momodou M.S. Jallow adjourned the case to 9th and 10th of February respectively for prosecution to continue with further witnesses.
It could be recalled that Mr. Sallah is standing trial for allegedly stealing three HP computers valued at 25,400 dollars (approximately 990,600 dalasi).
According to the particulars of offence, it is alleged that while serving as permanent secretary at the ministry of petroleum, Mr. Sallah without approval purchased three HP computers worth more than $25, 000 and which he later stole and took to his home in Senegambia.
The second allegation is that the accused has stolen three HP computers worth the same amount and which he knew belong to The Gambia government.
Mr. Sallah is also accused of abusing his office when he instructed without approval the purchase of the computers in November 2014 in Banjul.