Investigating Officer testifies in over D1M cashew case

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Alagie A. K. Manga, an Investigating Police Officer, on the 27th May, 2019, testified before Magistrate Joof of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court in the case involving one Pa Modou Kah.

Led by the prosecuting officer, ASP Manga, the witness, Alagie A. K. Manga, told the court that he is attached at the Serious Crime Unit of the police in Banjul. He stated that on the morning of 29th April, 2019, one Mr. Serge, a complainant, reported at their office and said that the accused, Pa Modou Kah, told him that he had twelve-and-a-half tones of cashew nuts for sale to the tune of D1, 150,000.

The witness further adduced that Mr. Serge said that he sent one of his employees, Wally Sowe, to take the sum of D1, 150,000 to the accused for the purchase of the cashew nuts. Mr. Manga went on to say that according to Mr. Serge, they were surprised that there were no cashew nuts for sale by the accused.

He revealed that he ordered one Demba Mbye, who was working under him, to record the voluntary and cautionary statements of the complainant. He told the court that he made an investigation after which he prepared a comprehensive report.

ASP Manga asked him how he would identify the report, and he said that he would be able to identify it by his signature. ASP Manga handed him the report to go through, which he did and confirmed that he prepared it.

At this juncture, ASP Manga applied to tender the said report. It was then shown to the accused and asked whether he had any objection to the tendering of the report. He told the court that he had nothing to say, noting that he hired the services of a lawyer who asked him to plead with the court to adjourn the case because he was busy.

ASP Manga responded that he believed that the lawyer should have written to the court and register his constraint. He went on to say that even if the lawyer were available, the document sought to be tendered would be admitted. He adduced that it was tendered through the maker.

But Magistrate Joof did not concur with him and stated that the lawyer of the accused should be given the opportunity to go through the document before it was admitted. He said that admitting the document in the absence of the lawyer might lead to an appeal. The document is in custody of the court awaiting the appearance of the lawyer.

At this juncture, the accused applied to the court to review his bail condition. ASP Manga argued that the court could not review its own bail condition, citing the constitution to support his argument.

The presiding magistrate ruled in favour of the accused and reviewed the bail condition and ordered that he produce two male Gambian sureties who should deposit their travelling documents to the registrar of the court.

The witness, Alagie A. K. Manga, is expected to reappear in court on the 4th June, 2019, for continuation of the case.  

Author: Dawda Faye