Mamadou Salieu Jallow, a marabout, on 17 March 2016 told the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court that he was beaten up by one Sulayman Jarra, the complainant, and others, accusing him of attempting to steal from a motor vehicle.
Mr Jallow was opening his defence before Magistrate Omar Jabang.
The prosecuting officer, CPL 1542 Mendy, had earlier presented a bill of indictment before the court which stated that the accused, Mamadou Salieu Jallow, attempted to steal from a motor vehicle Benz registration number BJL 0499 J, on 1 March 2016 at Manjai Kunda in the Kanifing Municipality.
He denied any wrongdoing.
Testifying before the court, the accused said that he came from Guinea Conakry, adding that he had come to look for the imam of Manjai Kunda.
He adduced that Sulayman Jarra, the complainant, confronted him and said he (Sulayman) said he did not know him and accused him of attempting to steal.
He further stated that he told him that he was not intending to steal.
He added that Sulayman’s wife then shouted “thief” and people came out, further stating that they tied him and started beating him.
The accused narrated that he told them that he was not a thief, and pleaded to them to take him to the police, where justice would be done.
Mr Jallow testified that they did not pay heed to his plea, and continued beating him, adding that he sustained some injuries.
He stated that his assailants later took him to Manjai Police Station, where one police officer, called Colley, asked him what he was alleged to have stolen.
He said he told Colley that he had not stolen anything.
Still testifying, he told the court that he was later transferred to Serrekunda Police Station.
Under cross-examination, prosecutor 1542 Mendy asked the accused how long he had been in The Gambia.
Mr Jallow said he spent two weeks in police custody and one month in remand, followed by his bail.
Asked at what time he was looking for the imam of Manjai Kunda, he said it was around 1 a.m.
Prosecutor Mendy put it to the accused that the distance from the compound of the complainant to the mosque was about 50 metres, but the accused said that the mosque was very close to the complainant’s compound.
Challenged that he was found in the vehicle of the complainant, he denied this, adding that the complainant held his hand outside and accused him of attempting to steal.
He was asked whether it made sense that he was just standing at the compound gate of the complainant only to be accused of attempting to steal.
Mr Jallow said he was surprised when he was accused of attempting to steal, because he came all the way from Guinea Conakry to look for the imam of Manjai Kunda.
He finally told the court that this was where he was, in concluding his testimony, and added that he had no witness to call.
At this juncture, Magistrate Jabang adjourned the case until 29 March 2016, for judgement.