Kafu Bayo ends evidence in chief in NIA 9 trial

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Kafu Bayo, the 17th prosecution witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving nine former officials of the NIA yesterday ended his evidence in chief before the presiding Judge Kumba Sillah-Camara at the High Court in Banjul.

The witness recalled that after he was beaten the second time at the NIA headquarters in Banjul, he became unconscious but regained consciousness inside the cell after a long time.

The witness was then given a pair of long blue jean trouser and a long sleeves blue shirt which he identified to be the very clothes given to him by the 9th accused person, Lamin Lang Sanyang who introduced himself to him as the NIA doctor.

Furthermore, the witness was also given a Kaftan (African dress) with a trouser which he identified as clothes given to him by the NIA doctor.

The blue jean trouser and the blue long sleeves shirt were tendered and admitted in evidence and marked Exhibit “D”, whilst the Kaftan and the trouser were admitted and marked Exhibit “E”.

Kafu Bayo disclosed that they were taken from the NIA headquarters in Banjul to Mile two prisons and then to Janjanbureh prisons in Central River Region.

Narrating his ordeal as to how he got to Janjanbureh Prisons, the witness revealed that the journey was terrible and painful, noting that they were placed in a truck and chained to each other.

He further revealed that they suffered severe heat and sustained bodily heat.

At this point, defense Counsel C.E. Mene took objection and argued that the evidence of the witness was irrelevant, noting that the witness’s journey to Janjanbureh has no connectivity to any of the charge before the court.

Lead counsel for the prosecution countered that the witness evidence was a narration of his ordeal from NIA headquarters in Banjul and then to Mile two prisons and finally to Janjanbureh Prisons in Central River Region.

However, presiding judge overruled the defense objection, noting that the witness evidence was a chain of events and ordeal the witness went through as a result of his arrest and detention at the NIA headquarters in Banjul to Janjanbureh Prisons.

Kafu Bayo testified that on the night of the 14th April, 2016, whilst he was being taken to where he was beaten, after he was knocked on his teeth, he disclosed that he heard someone said ‘ eh Tamba Mansaray’ and another said his teeth was broken.

The witness further testified that another person said he will kill him right away even though his tooth was broken, noting that he did not see the people beating him because he was blindfolded by a piece of cloth.

Kafu Bayo recalled that whilst he was arrested at Westfield and hauled into the paramilitary truck, he was given a slap on his left ear by one PIU official until he felt the whole world was turning round.

He told the court that as a result of that slap he cannot hear with that ear up to date.

The witness further told the court that on that fateful day he was taken to NIA headquarters in Banjul and it was only his ear that used to pain him and wasn’t feeling pain in any part of his body.

Responding to questions posed to him by lawyer C.E. Mene, defense counsel for the 1st accused person, Yankuba Badjie, Kafu Bayo told the court that he was flogged by unknown persons in a room and at some point, these unknown persons stopped beating him and then resumed beating him.

When put to him that he could not recollect being beaten the second time because he was unconscious, the witness replied that he was aware and conscious when he was beaten for the first time but when the unknown persons came the second time he was already unconscious.

The witness admitted that they were not yet beaten by the time his statements were obtained at the NIA headquarters.

When asked if he remembered making statement to the police on the 1st March 2016, the witness replied in the negative.

Further asked if he remembered making statement to the police in connection with this case, he replied in the affirmative but cannot remember the date.

At this juncture, defense Counsel C.E. Mene showed the witness purported statement and applied for the said statement to be tendered in evidence and was admitted in evidence and marked as Defense Exhibit “D” amid any objection from the prosecution.

Hearing continues today for continuation of cross examination of Kafu Bayo by the defense.   

Author: Bruce Asemota