Assistant Commissioner Sanneh cross-examined in NIA 9 trial

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The cross-examination of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abdoulie Sanneh, yesterday continued at the High Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara.

It would be recalled that Assistant Commissioner Sanneh testified as the 3rd prosecution witness in the ongoing trial involving the State against nine former officials of the defunct NIA.

The accused persons: Yankuba Badjie, Richards Loiue Leese Gomez, Sheihk Omar Jeng, Babucar Sallah, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Mansaray, Haruna Susso, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang, are standing trial on 26 counts including conspiracy to murder, murder, abduction, assault causing grievous bodily harm, making false documents without authority amongst others.

The witness had earlier testified before the court on 7 November 2017 but whilst responding to questions posed to him by lawyer C.E Mene, defence counsel for the 1st accused, the witness told the court that before he embarked on the trip as part of the taskforce from Serekunda to Westfield he was ordered to go and find out what was happening at Westfield.

The witness further told the court that upon his arrival at Westfield he found out that protesters were holding banners calling for electoral reforms.

The witness said he spoke to the crowd who told him that their leader was Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

The witness denied defence claim that he forced his way into the crowd and he further denied defence claim that his effort to get Solo Sandeng out of the crowd resulted in the pushing and pulling.

The witness informed the court that when the crowd refused to allow him to take Solo Sandeng away, he withdrew from the crowd to make phone call to the Regional Commissioner, Kebba Bojang.

The witness revealed that he informed Commissioner Kebba Bojang that the crowd was thick and that he and his team could not do anything and the Commissioner told him that he was on his way to Westfield.

The witness said he obeyed all lawful orders from his superiors, adding that in service they don’t disobey orders but he uses his discretion whenever orders are given.

The witness also said he could not remember the other members of the taskforce but admitted that Momodou Sowe was part of the taskforce after the defence lawyer mentioned that Momodou Sowe was part of the taskforce.

When asked if he did his ‘O’ Levels from Gambia High School, he replied that he never attended any High School in the world.

The witness told the court that he informed Commissioner Kebba Bojang that the there were many people and that he observed that the situation was chaotic.

Assistant Commissioner Sanneh informed the court that the demonstrators were arrested by officers of the PIU, adding that PIU officers are like any other Police officers that could carry out police functions.

When asked if there was any unit within the Gambia Police Force that was responsible for demonstrations, riot amongst others, the witness replied that all police officers are mandated to carry out police duties and responsibilities.

Assistant Commissioner Sanneh denied defence claim that it was his report to the regional commissioner that led to the deployment of PIU officers to Westfield.

He disclosed that majority of the protesters were arrested by PIU officers and taken to the PIU headquarters in Kanifing.

He further disclosed that he doesn’t know who led the team of PIU officers that carried out the arrest of the protesters and that he was never involved in the arrest of the protesters.

Hearing continues today at 12 noon.  

Author: Bruce Asemota