Justice Bakre of the High Court has convicted Dr. Banja the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries on the three criminal charges leveled against him. Dr. Banja has been found guilty of Economic Crimes, Corruption, and Public Officer showing Favour.
The presiding Judge convicted Dr. Banja of economic crimes and sentenced him to a mandatory jail term of 2 years and a fine of one million dalasis, on corruption, the court charge him to pay one hundred thousand dalasis (D100,000) or serve a one-year jail term, and on public official showing favor, he’s fined fifty thousand (D50,000) or served six (6) months in jail.
Dr. Banja was charged with economic crimes contrary to section 5(f) of the Economic Crimes Act for receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead Company limited to free their vessels which were engaged in illicit fishing from detention, and caused the state economic loss.
On count two, corruption contrary to section 86(a) of the Criminal Code for engaging in corruption practices by receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead to free their vessels that were in detention.
On count three, public officers received property to show favour contrary to section 58 of the Criminal Code for receiving money from the proprietors of Golden Lead Company Limited to show favour toward them on the outcome of their detention fishing vessel and thereby committed an offense.
Dr Banja pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy claiming that he has a young family.