“I HAVE A WIFE AND CHILDREN. I URGE THE COURT TO GRANT ME BAIL”, ERSTWHILE SG SABALLY PLEADED WITH JUSTICE ABDULLAHIAugust 12, 2014
Erstwhile Secretary General, Head of the Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally was on Monday 11th August 2014 arraigned before Justice Makailu Abdulahi slammed with three-count charges of economic crimes and abuse of office by State Prosecutors. Defiant Sabally was quick to deny all charges as he went on to show case his worth in the parked courtroom.
In reading the particulars of offence on count one, the State prosecutor alleged that “the accused person in the month of May 2014, in Banjul, committed an offence to with while serving as Secretary General caused economic loss to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) to the tune of D402, 500 by unduly influencing the said institution to fund a programme titled ‘Youth Career Development’ programme”. The prosecution went further to reveal that the said programme was organized by a Mariama Sillah without due process thus committing a felon. The particulars of offence on count two and three are the same as one exposing the incredibility of both charges to the eyes of any serious legal mind. No particular section of the constitution was cited to qualify the charges levied on Sabally.
Without much ado, Sabally quickly rose and denied all purported charges. He silenced the bursting courtroom when he, in a soft and steady voice, reminded the Judge “I have been in detention for the past five weeks during which I have fully cooperated with my investigators. I am alerted that the investigation is still not completed but I have a wife and children. Many of the youth see me as their role model by joining the services in my country against lucrative international appointments. I have work with the central bank for 10 years. With this background, I do not see any reason why the prosecution should doubt my integrity. I therefore humbly disagree with the prosecution and urge the court to grant me bail”.
At that point the Director of Public Prosecution interjected and applied for a court order to remand Sabally in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency instead of the Central Mile II Prison. DPP S.H. Barkun also expressed prosecution’s desire to apply for a date for hearing on the case after the court vacation.
In his ruling, Justice Abdullahi told the court, “One of the considerations for granting or refusing a bail is none completion and/or interference with investigation. From the submissions made, both parties agreed that the investigation into the case is yet to be completed and for this reason, I do not think that the court should at this stage admit the accused to bail”.
Justice Abdullahi then adjourned the case to 14th October 2014 for hearing and ordered Sabally be remanded with the NIA. “The accused may repeat the same application in the course of the trial if he so wish”, he concluded.