By Yankuba Jallow
Sarjo Jarju, a resident of Brufut seeks justice from President Barrow for pardoning a convict (Ebrima Ndow) who owes him eighty-five thousand dalasi, and was serving a jail term.
“The President should not have released him. He is walking free while I still cannot get my money from him,” Jarju said.
Jarju said the pardoned prisoner still owes him D85,000 and did not pay.
“He was placed in prison to ensure that he pays me my money. How come he is released just like that? How about the money he fraudulently took from me and diverted to his personal use?” Jarju asked.
According to Sarjo, Ebrima Ndow posed himself as an agent of GACEM and allegedly received money from him. Magistrate M. Faal of the Kanifing Magistrate’s Court found and held that “Ebrima Ndow and his cohort were making goods and services more expensive and distant to consumers and like beneficiaries.
“The wanton conduct should be discouraged to abate it,” the Magistrate said, according to Sarjo, because Ndow received the said sum from Jarju for the supply of cement which he failed to do only to promise him 300 bags of cement. Ndow admitted that he gave the witness two receipts of payment which were both tendered in court as evidence, and gave a date for the delivery of the consignment of 300 bags of cement, but failed to honor his promise.
The complainant Sarjo Jarju, said he reported the matter to the police, and Ndow was consequently arrested, and admitted to the police that he received money from Jarju for the supply of cement which he never did.
When he was arraigned before the court in Kanifing, Ndow pleaded guilty to the charge and was accordingly convicted.
Against this judgment, Ebrima Ndow was pardoned by President Adama Barrow while his victim (Sarjo Jarju) still cannot have his money.
On how it feels, Sarjo Jarju said it is not fair that the President pardons people like Ebrima Ndow who make life difficult for people. Ndow only served seven months in jail and was pardoned by President Barrow.
“I do not think it was right to pardon someone who defrauds people,” Jarju said.
Foroyaa’s investigation showed that Ndow is back at his former position as agent of GACEM and is now at their facility around Coastal road.
On the 20th of June 2022, Jarju wrote to the President explaining the unfortunate situation that the pardon has put him through. He said the money does not belong to him and the owners are demanding him to repay them their monies.
In The Gambia, once someone is pardoned, you cannot retry him on the same offence. Section 24 subsection (7) of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia provides the following: “No person shall be tried for a criminal offence if he or she shows he or she has been pardoned for that offence”, and the President of The Republic under the prerogative of mercy, has the power grant pardon to any person convicted of any offence.
The Minister of Justice was called severally to shed light on the issue but his phone was unreachable. But an e-mail has been sent to his office for a response on the matter.