Kiang Tobaski rams saga lands in court

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Omar Saidy, who allegedly duped the people of Kiang Kolior of their money in the pretext that he was going to sell them rams at a cheap price for the Tobaski, was recently arraigned before Magistrate Joof of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

Sub-Inspector Nying, the prosecuting officer, called her first witness, Madi Fatty, to tell the court how the accused fooled the people of Kiang and took their money.

In his testimony, Madi Fatty told the court that he is an imam and lives at Kiang Kolior. He said that on the 26th July, 2019, the accused came to his house with his son and found him with one Momodou Camara and Cherno Kebbeh. He stated that his son told him that the accused came to see him, noting that he welcomed the accused. He said he asked the accused where he came from and he told him that he came from Jarra Barrow Kunda but he resides at Kombo Lamin and his name is Momodou Ceesay.

He adduced that the accused told him that he was working with some Arabs and they had 202 rams, adding that the accused said that two of the rams were for the imam and the deputy imam. He further testified that the accused told them that the 200 rams would be given to them at D1000 per ram, making a total of D200,000. 

He revealed that the accused told him that nobody should take two rams and sell them, and if they did, they would suffer from the wrath of God. He noted that he asked Momodou Camara and Cherno Kebbeh whether they heard what the accused had said and they replied in the positive. He narrated that he told the accused that if anybody did that, he would deal with them.

He said that the accused then gave him a pen and a book and the accused wrote his telephone number on the book, stating that the accused told him to record in the book the amount of money he collected from the villagers. He testified that the accused told him that out of the D200,000, the villagers would be given D100,000 for the feeding and transportation of the rams and the other D100,000 would be for the mosque. He told the court that after he collected the D200,000, he recorded it in the book after the accused had left.

Mr. Fatty informed the court that the accused telephoned him and said that he was in Senegal to arrange for the rams, further stating that the accused phoned him again and told him that he had arrived with the rams in The Gambia.

The witness said that the following day, the accused phoned him and told him that he should meet him in the Kombos to receive the rams. He adduced that he told Momodou Camara and Cherno Kebbeh to go with him to the Kombos to meet the accused.

He further testified that the accused phoned him and told him that he was in the middle of Westfield waiting for them, adding that he told the accused that they were on their way to the Kombos. He revealed that the accused later phoned him and asked him where they were and he told him that they were at Brikama. He noted that when they arrived at Westfield, he phoned the accused who told him that he was wearing a white gown and holding a white piece of paper, raising his hand.

Mr. Fatty told the court that he parked his car behind and they approached the accused when they identified him. He revealed that the accused told them that the rams were at the abattoir behind NAWEC, stating that they all went there.

He testified that the accused told them that the rams were more than 200 and they could choose the ones they preferred. He said the owner of the abattoir told them that the rams were available, and this was why he believed the accused.

The witness informed the court that the accused asked them whether they brought the money along and he answered in the positive. He narrated that he told the accused that he told them in their village that D100,000 was for the feeding and transportation of the rams and the other D100,000 was for their mosque.

He said the accused told them that he had to take the money to the Pipe Line Mosque where the Arabs would confirm the amount.  He went on to say that he asked the accused to get into the car where he gave him the D200,000, which he put in a school bag.   

He added that he told Momodou Camara to keep an eye on the accused, further stating that the accused hung the bag around his shoulder. He testified that the accused told them that he wanted to ease himself and they allowed him to do so. He said the accused ran away.

Mr. Fatty revealed that they told the owner of the abattoir that they bought 200 rams from the accused to the tune of D200,000 but the owner of the abattoir told them that the value of the total rams in his abattoir was more than D1,000,000.

He said he told the owner of the abattoir that the accused had run away, adding that he asked them whether they paid the accused and he told him that they paid him D200,000. He adduced that they started searching for the accused but could not find him.

He informed the court that they went to the ferry terminal to search for the accused but to no avail, noting that they went to Kanifing Police Station and reported the matter and their statements were recorded. He said that they were referred to the Serious Crime Unit where he gave the officers the telephone number of the accused and he told the officers that the accused told him in his village that his name is Momodou Ceesay.

The witness further told the court that they went back to their village, adding that he was later telephoned by the officers at the Serious Crime Unit and told that the accused was apprehended. He testified that when he came back to the Serious Crime Unit, he was told that the officers made a print out of the Africel telephone number of the accused, and this was how they were able to arrest him.

Mr. Fatty stated that he was asked by the Serious Crime Unit officers whether the person they arrested was the accused and he confirmed it.  He told the court that the accused bought a car from the money he took from the villagers.

Hearing continues.       

Author: Dawda Faye