Dr Banja was found guilty of “economic crimes, official corruption and public officer showing favour”. Justice Bakre said the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt against Dr Banja.
Lawyer J. Sambou for Dr Banja informed the court that his client is a father of 5 and has an extended family that depends on him. The lawyer further submitted that Dr Banja is a first-time offender and has served the country for 42 years.
Justice Bakre advised Dr Bamba Banja and all other civil servants who engage in corruption to stop. After his conviction and before his sentence, Dr Banja asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
In the sentence for the economic crimes charge, Justice Bakre fined Dr Banja one million dalasis in default and also sentenced him to serve a 2-year jail term.
On the charge of official corruption, the court asked Dr Banja to pay one hundred thousand dalasis (D100,000) or serve a 1-year jail term. On the charge of a public official showing favour, Dr Banja was fined fifty thousand (D50,000) or serve six (6) months in jail.
The case began on 6 August 2021. Dr Banja denied all charges. The prosecution has closed its case after calling eight (8) witnesses and tendering seven exhibits as evidence. Dr Banja was the only one who testified in defence.
The prosecution of Dr Banja came about after he received money from the proprietors of Golden Lead Company Limited to free their vessels which were engaged in illicit fishing from detention, by which his action was detrimental to the economy and the welfare of the people of The Gambia. The court also found him guilty of engaging in corruption practices by receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead to free their vessels that were in detention.
He was found guilty of receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead Company Limited (GLCL) to show favour towards them on the outcome of their detained fishing vessel.