Judge's illness delays former WAAPP Coordinator’s trial


By Rohey Jadama The case involving Mr. Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, the former Coordinator of the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP), before the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul, could not proceed Yesterday, Wednesday, January 28, 2015 due to the illness of the trial Judge, Justice Emmanuel Amadi. A court official told reporters that the judge was not feeling well and was given Excuse on Duty (ED). The trial of Mr. Sosseh started in July 2013 and has now dragged on for 1 year, 6 months. The prosecution had called a total of 6 witnesses to prove their case. It has suffered numerous delays or setbacks, thus leading both the trial judge and the defence team to conclude that the prosecution is dragging the case with the judge even threatening to close the prosecution’s case if their seventh and last witness failed to appear in court after many non-appearances before. As a consequence, the prosecution failed to appear and bring their last witness which prompted the court to close their case and to ask the defence to start theirs. The defence team opted to file a “no case to answer” submission. The case was adjourned to Monday, 2nd of February, 2015 for defence to proceed. Meanwhile, Mr. Sosseh is alleged on Count One that while he was employed as the Project Coordinator of the GEAPP he has failed and or omitted to fully apply a Euro 5.3 million grant from the World Bank and leaving unspent $76,489.20, which omission was detrimental to the economy of The Gambia and the welfare of the Gambian people. Count two states that while employed in the public service of The Gambia as GEAPP Coordinator, Mr. Sosseh neglected to effectively supervise the construction and rehabilitation of the Seed Multiplication Centre at Chamen in the Gambia. As for Count Three, Mr. Sosseh is accused that while he was employed as the GEAPP Coordinator, he recklessly paid D15,895,125.25 to the general procurement service inspite of the shoddy construction and the rehabilitation works at Chamen Seed Multiplication Centre and thereby caused an economic loss to The Gambia through the Ministry of Agriculture and the GEAPP.]]>