Almame Ceesay, restaurant supervisor, charged with conspiracy and stealing by clerk, along with Lamin Jallow, Maimuna Touray and Gibril Jatta, continued his testimony on 21 March 2016, before Magistrate Wilson of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.
Almame Ceesay told the court that when the personnel manager, Amie Conteh, told him the guests from Bakotou Hotel paid to him after they had their breakfast, he told her he was not on duty.
He said she told him further that the guests came in on 8 November 2014 through 14 November 2014, and he then told her he knew nothing about it as he was not on duty on 14 November 2014.
Mr Ceesay said he told Amie to call the guests to let them identify whom they paid to, but she told him it would be embarrassing to do so, hence refused to call the guests. He said she then silenced the matter.
He further adduced that on 15 November 2014, the fourth accused did not give him any money as Amie Conteh had alleged in court in her testimony.
Mr Ceesay added that he never worked with the fourth accused, Gibril Jatta, because he, Ceesay, “is a supervisor” and supervisors did not join shifts at the hotel but work by shift.
Mr Ceesay posited that Gibril worked on permanent afternoon shift, adding that Gibril used to go to work in the morning when he, Ceesay, was off duty on Fridays, each week.
He adduced that he did not see Gibril on 14 and 15 November 2014.
He said Gibril did not give him any money to pay his bill for him as alleged by Amie Conteh.
Mr Ceesay testified that the guests got to the hotel on 15, 16 and 17 November 2014, adding that he paid the bill for the breakfast consumed by the guests on these three days.
He said he was not given the receipts for payment made on 16 and 17 November 2014, which are available at the hotel.
At that juncture, he tendered the receipt for 15 November 2014, and the said receipt was admitted by the court after the other accused persons said they had no objection to the tendering of the receipt.
Mr Ceesay said the F&B manager told him he was needed at the police and that the staff were waiting for him there, according to Amie Conteh.
He said he then asked the F&B manager what was the problem but the manager told him that the guests were there to identify whom they paid to.
He further testified that at the police, he did not see any staff but found Amie Conteh and the guests while other guests were sitting in the mini-van.
Mr Ceesay said he then introduced himself to the police and they asked the guests whether they knew him and they answered in the positive, adding that the guests said they paid to him on the 17 November 2014.
He adduced that he then saw the second and third accused persons going to the police station, adding that he told one of the guests, a British, that she paid to him three days ago.
Mr Ceesay told the court that Amie Conteh then told the police that the guests should go to the airport before they were late, because it was their departure day.
He said the guests then left the station as there was no identification parade, adding that he was the only staff at the police station and the other accused persons were not in the police station.
He further said that they were granted bail by the police, adding that Gibril Jatta, the fourth accused, was not at the police station.
Mr Ceesay narrated that he was later called by Amie Conteh who was asked to do so by the police.
He testified that it was not true, when Amie Conteh told the police, that it was when he gave D200 each to the second, third and fourth accused persons that the deal spoiled.
He further testified that Amie Conteh said in court that he showed D1,000 to the police that he should give each of the other accused persons D200. This, he added, was also “not true”.
Mr Ceesay said that on 19 November 2014, he went to work and found that there was another supervisor working on his shift, adding that on the same day, Amie Conteh gave him a suspension letter which stated that he should pay D20,000 to the hotel, which was the missing amount of money.
He adduced that he was issued with a dismissal letter and that he should pay the hotel D14, 000. He added that on 20 May 2015, the hotel claimed again D8,000, according to the charge sheet.
At this juncture, he said he would call his bosses to shed light on the case, adding that all what he said was the true and factual.
The case was adjourned till 4 April 2016 for cross-examination by the other accused persons.