In a bizarre twist to the ongoing saga of the Gambia National Petroleum Company GNPC case, the Director of Public Prosecutions S.H. Barkun, Thursday 20th October 2016 dropped charges against Edrissa Mass Jobe and brought more charges against the nine others. The GNPC case is being presided over by Justice O. Ottaba of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul. Our sources indicated that Edi Mass Jobe’s lawyer Ida Drammeh demanded that Mr Jobe’s bail bond be immediately cancelled and his travel documents return, which was immediately acted upon by the Court registrar. Lawyer Ida Drammeh is largely rumoured to have close links with dictator Jammeh and her law office is reported to be behind the writing of many legal documents for the state. It is therefore not a surprise that her clients always get favourable outcomes at the courts and she handpicks cases she will represent. It was therefore no surprise to many that Lawyer Ida Drammeh a senior member of the Gambian bar refused to defend or comment on the highly political and illegal trial of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and his co accused.
True to form drama and surprise ensued at the Court in Banjul when the GNPC case resumed on 24th October 2016 in front of Justice Ottaba with the nine accuse persons namely: Sira Wally Ndow-Njai, Momodou O.S. Badjie, Fafa Sanyang, Cherno Marena, Seedy Kanyi, Muntaga Momodou Sallah, Momodou Taal, Louie Moses Mendy and Noah Touray. Lawyer Ida Drammeh who was also defence counsel for the 1st accused Sira Wally Ndow-Njai had excused herself from the case and was replaced by lawyers Sheriff Tambadou, Antouman Gaye and Omar Njie. All indications signal that lawyer Ida Drammeh’s withdrawal as counsel for Sira Wally Ndow-Njai indicate that Sira is literally being “thrown under the bus”.
What was even more shocking in all these developments at the special criminal court was the State prosecutor announcing the appearance of the recently discharged Edi Mass Jobe as prosecution witness against his former co-accused. “There were lots of tears and looks of utter disbelief at the Court” indicated our judicial source. “It would appear that Lawyer Ida Drammeh cunningly negotiated a plea bargain for her main client Edi Mass Jobe, leaving Sirra Wally open to further prosecution by the state” Another source added. This development with Edi Mass Jobe now expected to testify against his former GNPC colleagues and the adding of five more charges to the original three charges on the charge sheet reflect the Jammeh regime’s intention to use the compromised courts to victimise and certainly unjustly prosecute and jail the GNPC officials.
Sirra Wally Ndow-Njie the only female in the petroleum Group case has been denied bail on numerous occasions a move directly dictated by dictator Jammeh who is reported to be very “angry” with Sira and has vowed to “teach her a lesson, she will never forget”. She is reportedly very ill and like many other prisoners at the notorious Mile2 prison suffering from lack of Medical attention and poor diet.
Hearing is expected to contiune with the State’s new star witness Edi Mass Jobe and all indications are that this GNPC case will be another in many series of unjust and illegal cases against innocent persons, whose only crime is to do the right thing by not “Giving the Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh his financial cut in a highly lucrative petroleum supply deal”.