Gambian court releases official accused of graft on a US$1.3M bail

Gambian court releases official accused of graft on a US$1.3M bail

A high court judge, Justice O. Ottabba has granted bail to Fafa Sanyang, a former official of The Gambia’s government accused of corrupt practices in a US$12 million oil scandal.

Mr. Sanayng’s bail was set at US$1.3 million (GMD52,000,000) with two Gambian sureties and deeds of landed properties within the Greater Banjul area to be submitted to the court.

State prosecutors were taken by surprise by Justice O. Ottabba after he refused to overturn the bail of three other former government officials said to complicit in the scandal, including former Permanent Secretary Muntaga Sallah.

“I find and hold that there are no circumstances that can warrant the court to revoke the bail of the accused persons,” Ottabba said.

Gambian authorities this year indicted at least 39 officials including ministers and permanent secretaries, accusing them of corrupt practices and economic crimes.

Corruption remains a major impediment to economic growth in The Gambia. Despite some reforms and restrictions, authorities say the practice continues to undermine growth and productivity. The country’s Attorney General Mama Fatima Singhateh validated a bill to establish an anti-corruption agency.

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