‘We didn’t want Ousainou Darboe to know about the demo’- witness tells court in Yankuba Badjie & co trial

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kafu Bayo, the 17th prosecution witness has said that the UDP leadership resolved in their meeting held at Manjai that they did not want Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) to know that they were going to stage April 14th of 2016 protest.

Kafu Bayo, the chairman of UDP in Tujenreng made this revelation whilst giving evidence during cross examination before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara in the ongoing criminal trial involving the State and Yankuba Badjie and seven (7) others.

It could be recalled that Yankuba Badjie, Louie Richard Leese Gomez, Sheihk Omar Jeng alias Sir Jeng, Babucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Tamba Mansaray, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang are indicted with 26 counts including murder, conspiracy to murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, making false document without proper authority among others.

The witness told the court that they organised the peaceful demonstration because they were not happy with what was happening in the country at the time.

He indicated that they held a meeting at the UDP bureau at Manjai and they resolved that they didn’t want Ousainou Darboe, the leader of UDP to know about the demonstration.

He further indicated that Solo Sandeng didn’t want Ousainou Darboe to know.

The witness revealed that they staged the demonstration from Bambo in Serekunda to Westfield and wanted people to read the statements they were carrying on their placards.

Asked why he did not go to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Senior Counsel, Antouman A.B. Gaye intervened and submitted that the question being asked by lawyer S. Fatty was irrelevant to the charge and argued that the counsel should ask questions relevant to the charge.

In her brief ruling, presiding Judge Kumba Sillah-Camara sustained the prosecution’s objection, adding that the question asked by defense Counsel S. Fatty is completely irrelevant to the charge before the court.

When asked that at the time they arrived at the NIA Headquarters in Banjul from PIU headquarters in Kanifing, they were all tired and suffering from pains received during their arrest at Westfield?

The witness replied that he received heavy slap from the paramilitary officer but cannot talk for the others.

Kafu Bayo told the court that paramilitary officers took them from Mile 2 Prison to Janjanbureh Prison, adding that he left the clothes he was arrested with in Mile 2 Prison.

The witness testified that during the beating he didn’t hear Tamba’s name but when he struck on his mouth resulting to the breaking of tooth that was when he heard Tamba’s name mentioned.

Kafu Bayo disclosed that it was not only Tamba Mansaray’s name he heard during his detention at the NIA Headquarters in Banjul but other names.

The prosecution’s lead counsel, Antouman A.B.Gaye in his question posed to the witness, lawyer Gaye informed the witness that during cross examination, he said that the name Tamba Mansaray was not the only name he heard at the NIA Headquarters, so lawyer Gaye asked Kafu Bayo to tell the court the other names he heard.

At this point Defense Counsel C. E. Mene objected to the question and argued that re-examination is meant to clear ambiguity which arose from cross examination and he was supported by Defense Counsel B. Gomez, Ibrahim Jallow and Dayo Dagoh.

Meanwhile, the presiding Judge Kumba Sillah-Camara overruled the defense objection and asked the witness to answer the question.

The witness then informed the court that the other names he heard apart from Tamba Mansaray at the NIA Headquarters are Sir Jeng, Mr Badjie. 

Author: Bruce Asemota