The Gambia: More woes for embattled former justice minister

8 Apr
Cropped version of :Image:Gambia President Yah...

Jobarteh faces charges of economic crime and giving false information to Gambia President Yahya Jammeh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gambia has brought another charge of economic crime and giving false information to a public officer against one of its former Minister of Justice, Lamin Jobarteh on Monday.

Jobarteh, also a former Attorney General, pleaded not guilty on April 7 when he appeared at the High Court in Banjul, the capital.

“Jobarteh recklessly caused monetary loss to The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), a public body, by constituting a taskforce which re-assessed and reviewed downward the tax liability of several tax defaulters as found by the Tax Commission,” State prosecutors alleged.

“Being the attorney general and minister of justice, he falsely informed the Office of the President [Yahya Jammeh] that over D200 million had been recovered from the tax defaulters and deposited into the GRA account at GTBank,” they claim.

Also, Prosecutors accused Mr Jobarteh of informing GRA’s commissioner general that there was a cabinet approval to establish a taskforce to re-assess the tax liability of defaulters as shown in the Tax Commission’s report, knowing such information to be false.

The embattled Mr Jobarteh is currently serving a two-year jail term after he, Dr Njogu Bah, a former Secretary General and Presidential Affairs Minister and Pa Harry Jammeh, a former Solicitor General and Legal Secretary were convicted of abuse of office and other related offences in 2013.

Jobarteh was also handed a one-year jail term together with Justice Joseph Wowo, a Nigerian-born former High Court Judge and acting Chief Justice of The Gambia in a separate trial that involved allegations of corruption.

The embattled former minister, who is known for his support to the government’s death row prisoners’ execution in 2012, is currently standing trial on three separate cases, two of which are being held the High Court in Banjul and one at the Magistrate Court, also in the capital.

This latest criminal trial brought against him is scheduled to to resume on April 16 at the High Court with Justice Mikailu Abdullah presiding.

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