By Binta A. Bah
The trial of Benedict Jammeh, a former Director General of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDEA, and three top security officers of the agency is scheduled for May 13, 2013.
Jammeh, ex-Spokesperson Abdoulie Ceesay, former Director of Intelligence and Investigations Foday Barry, and former Head of NDEA West Coast Region Commissioner Yusupha Jatta, all of the NDEA pleaded not guilty to the remaining 45 criminal charges brought against them on Thursday.
The Gambia Government accuses the four agents of “extracting monies from the 38, 500 Euros recovered, which they used for organizing a party for their operatives, which monies should have been tendered as exhibits to the court”.
They are also accused of giving false information to the Office of the President and the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) that one Assan Touray was wanted for drug-related offences.
On April 30, 2013, the High Court heard that Jammeh and his co-accused “have fabricated evidence that Abdurahman Touray of Pristine Company was wanted in The Gambia for drug-related offences in which they preferred criminal charges against him and presented it to the Gambia Police Force which was later found to be false”.
The indictments further accused them of unlawfully terminating and dismissing the services of twenty (20) NDEA officers without authority, while in office as public officers. They have all denied any wrong doing.
Benedict Jammeh was appointed Director General of NDEA in 2010 after the removal of Ibrahim Bun Sanneh who is currently serving jail time at the Mile 2 Central Prison. Jammeh has also served as Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, in 2008, and Inspector General of Police in 2007.