Ex Gambia chief electoral officer jailed

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Flag of the Gambia

Magistrate Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay of the Kanifing court in The Gambia Tuesday convicted Kawsu Ceesay, the former Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), after finding him guilty of forging the signature of the former Chairman of IEC, Mr. Ndondi Njie. The accused was sentenced to pay a fine of 50,000 Dalasi or go to jail for three months. Passing judgement, Magistrate Wadda-Ceesay said the handwriting expert, called by the prosecution as witness, had testified that the signature on the invoice t o purchase electoral materials was forged. The expert did not, however, tell the court who forged it, she admitted. Mr. Njie, in his evidence, denied signing the invoice but did not say that the accused signed it. According to the Magistrate, the invoice was not in existence during the tenure of Mr. Njie. She acknowledged that the prosecution had nonetheless proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. Magistrate Wadda-Ceesay inferred that the court believed that the accused had forged the said document, citing some authorities to back her judgement. She accordingly convicted the accused for forgery. In his mitigation on behalf of the accused, Lawyer Batchilly told the court th at Ceesay was a first offender and that the court should temper justice with mercy, especially as he was a family man.

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