Judge presiding over Gunjur-Golden Lead case was arrested and prosecuted for D2M theft
As frustrations mount over the delays in the legal battle between Gunjur and Golden Lead fish processing company, this medium can reliably report that the presiding judge, Amina Saho-Ceesay ,has a record of arrest and prosecution for corruption. The director of public prosecution later filed a “Nolle Prosequi” in the case and the accused were discharged after an executive pardon.
Amina Saho Ceesay - Judge presiding over Gunjur vs Golden Lead High Court case
An article published by The Point newspaper on December 18, 2009 reported: “Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay being a civil servant was alleged to have embezzled an amount of D2, 000.000 (two million Dalasi) and US$1000 between 2005 to 2009”. The Point newspaper added:
“Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay was first arraigned on 2nd December 2009 and subsequently remanded in custody. She again appeared on 3rd December 2009 when she was granted a court bail in the sum of D4m with three Gambian sureties, all of whom must have a landed property within the Greater Banjul Area. The bail condition further stipulated that she should be reporting to the court every Friday, and also ordered to deposit her travelling documents with the court,” . She was prosecuted alongside Justice Ngui Mboob Janneh, Justice Saffiatou Njie (said to be out of the jurisdiction), Haruna Jaiteh, ex-Judicial Secretary and Alhagie LS Sonko ex-bailiff of the high court, who stood trial on charges ranging from neglect of official duty, to stealing by public officer, aiding and abetting a public officer to steal, economic crime and forgery.
A source close to Gunjur- Golden Lead high court case indicated that the legal team for Gunjur should ask for her recusal from the case based on past misconduct as a public officer.
His words: “I think that lawyers representing Gunjur have undue faith in that judge and the legal system. Past conduct is a reliable guide to future conduct which presents significant risks of bribery and corruption. Alagie Conteh is not beyond inducing the judge with bribes to stall the case or win a favorable judgment. We all know how the Chinese operate and how they have corrupted our people including the dishonourable member of parliament and majority leader Kebba K Barrow”.
The Alkalo of Gunjur, Giki Darboe, has admitted receiving D100,000 from the Chinese, which he believed was a bribe but decided to give it to the community due to apprehensions it will be linked to a building construction project at his home. In a video interview with Lamin Cham, the embattled leader of the third largest town in The Gambia disclosed: "I personally was handed D100K by the Chinese but given my position as village head, I handed the money to VDC because if I did not do that, people may end up saying that the house I am currently building was sponsored by the Chinese company. "When I was running my business in Brikama, nobody had given me that sort of gift. I feel the Chinese gave me that by virtue of my position and influence as the head of the village".
It has also been revealed that Lawyer Lamin S Camara who has now taken over as counsel for Golden Lead Company following the withdrawal of Lawyer Salieu Taal, is best and childhood friends Lamin Ceesay who is the husband of judge Amina Saho Ceesay. Environmental activists who are keenly following the developments in the High Court case are concerned about the conflict of interest and are calling for the recusal of Amina Saho Ceesay from the case.