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11 drivers arraigned for obstructing President's convoy

Aug 18, 2010, 1:24 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

At least 11 drivers were recently arraigned before Principal Magistrate F.L. Drammeh of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court for obstructing the President's convoy.

The drivers namely, Edrisa Badjie, Saikou Drammeh, Hamat Mbye, Saikou Njie, Saikou Touray, Ebou Manneh, Bunja Saidy Faye, Abdou Cham, Abdou Sanneh, Momodou Alieu Bah and Martin R. Mendy, all pleaded not guilty when the charge sheet was read to them.

The prosecuting officer, ASP Sanneh, applied to the court to adjourn the case to enable him brings forward his witnesses to testify against the accused persons.

They were granted bail in the sum of D50, 000 each with a Gambian surety who should swear to an affidavit of means, and who should also deposit their biometric ID cards to the registrar.

At the resumption of the trial last Friday, the first prosecution witness, Momodou Danso, told the court that he is a police superintendent attached to the Serrekunda Mobile Police Traffic Unit.

Testifying against Abdou Sanneh, the witness stated that on 8th August 2010, between 18.00hrs and 19.00hrs, he was at Tabokoto with other personnel on duty waiting for the presidential convoy coming from Kanilai to Banjul.

Danso told the court that he received a signal from the presidential convoy to divert the traffic from the right to the left side of the road. He accordingly gave instructions to the traffic officers on duty to divert the traffic, to enable the convoy drive through to Banjul without any obstruction.

However, the witness added, there was obstruction by some drivers to the presidential convoy, prompting soldiers who were in the convoy to intervene. They seized the driving licences and vehicle insurance papers of the drivers, which were handed over to one Corporal 201 Bakary Badjie.

The witness added that around 33 drivers were involved, and were later handed over to chief superintendent Wassa Jammeh.

The drivers had no authority to join the presidential convoy, the witness further told the court, but could not identify all the drivers because they were many.

The drivers were later asked to report at the Kanifing Mobile Traffic Unit of the police, where they were issued with court summons, according to the witness.

Corporal Bakary Badjie was the second witness to testify, and his evidence and that of Sergeant Modou Kalo, the third witness, corroborated the evidence of first witness, Superintendent Danso.