Following a probe by the police into the alleged disappearance of D70, 000 bags of cement reportedly stolen from the Gacem cement factory, the property of Gam Petroleum, five suspects yesterday stood trial before Principal Magistrate Buba Jawo of the Kanifing Court for the alleged offences of “stealing by clerk and receiving stolen property.”
The prime suspect, Abdoulie Jarra, himself an ex-employee of the defrauded company, pleaded not guilty to the offence of stealing by clerk in contravention of section 252 of the criminal code.
According to the summary of Mr Jarra’s alleged crime, in or around 2007/2008, Mr Jarra stole 70,000 bags of cement, valued at D1, 470, 000, the property of Gam Petroleum. Mr Jarra denied the charge.
Count II states that Pa Cham, Ebrima Ndow, Muhamed Yego Kaira and Amadou Fatty received the said stolen property, charges they vehemently denied too. The quartet are said to have received in 2007/2008 in KMC 70,000 bags of cement knowing or having knowledge that the stolen items were property of Gam Petroleum.
The five accused persons, according to the report by Lawyer Tambedou, counsel for Pa Cham, Ebrima Ndow and Amadou Fatty, the suspects were taken to different police stations for some weeks before they were finally arraigned. Owing to this the defence counsel applied for adjournment and bail to allow him (Tambedou) and Lawyer Sidney Riley, counsel for the 1st accused, Abdoulie Jarra, to hold proper consultations with their clients.
Objecting to the application the prosecuting officer, Commissioner Burama Dibba, pointed out that the matter before the court was the charges and not the treatment of the accused persons at the different police stations.
In spite of the prosecution’s objection, the five accused persons were finally granted bail in the sum of D250, 000 each. They are expected back in court by 12 March 2008 for continuation of hearings.