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6th witness testifies in Ensa Badjie's trial

Jul 23, 2010, 1:06 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The prosecution in the robbery trial of the ex police chief Ensa Badjie and CSP Ali Ceesay on Wednesday 21st July 2010 called its sixth witness, one Fatou Mendy, to testify before Justice Ikpala.

Fatou Mendy told the court that she lives at Bakoteh, works at a hotel and knows the 1st accused person, Ensa Badjie.

"I know Omar Touray my husband, Soriba Condeh alias Ramsis, Yusupha Baldeh, and I can recall what happened in the year 2004," she told the court.

One day, Ms Mendy said, she was at home when some police officers, including CID officers, came along with one Landing Bojang, and that Landing Bojang asked her about the whereabouts of her husband, Omar Touray.

"I told Landing that my husband is not far from here, because he just left the compound with a baby. Then Landing told me that, if Omar is nowhere to be found, then I will be taken away," she added.

"After while," she went on, "Omar came and identified himself to Landing Bojang, and we were subsequently taken to Serrekunda police station."

There, she told the special criminal court in Banjul, Landing informed them that there was a reported break-in, where cigarettes were stolen.

"I received a telephone call from Soriba Condeh, while at the police station, and Landing asked me to increase the volume of my mobile phone. Then Landing took the phone from me, and increased the volume of my phone himself. I was informed that my husband was the one who committed the act."

She further told the court that later her husband was taken to Kanifing Magistrates' Court, tried and sentenced to two years imprisonment.

She further testified that she also received another call from Soriba Condeh claiming that he was in Hong Kong, but she later saw Condeh, when she returned from Casamance.

"One day I received a call from Soriba Condeh that he was arrested in connection with a motor bike, and is presently at Bokoteh police station, CID unit. He wanted me to secure bail for him," she told the court, and that one officer Sowe refused her to stand as surety for Condeh because she is a woman.

Later, she continued, Tony arrived at the police station and officer Sowe accepted him as surety, but Tony was without his ID card.

Fatou Mendy said officer Sowe then called the 1st accused person Ensa Badjie, before granting bail to Condeh, adding that Ensa Badjie gave orders for Condeh to be granted bail, and that, eveutually, he was granted bail with her as surety.

She said, after some weeks, Condeh brought her ID card to her, and that when she asked him about the motor bike, Condeh said he had given the bike to Ensa Badjie.

After few days later, PW6 went on, Landing Bojang came to her compound at around 10 am and asked her about her husband's workplace, who works as a watchman. She said she then joined their vehicle with CID and police officers, and departed for the place.

Landing, Fatou Mendy told the court, informed her that he had a list of names of armed robbers some of whom have been arrested, but insisted that her husband was not among them.

She also told the court that Condeh had entrusted her with a plastic bag, whose contents she did not know.

Fatou Mendy added that when Condeh came for the plastic bag, he came with a red Mercedes Benz 190 along with Tony, and with someone sitting inside the car.

"PW1 informed me that he was with the 1st accused (Ensa Badjie). Then Tony asked PW1 how he can entrust somebody with a bag and, after taking it, did not check the contents," she adduced. 

"After PW1 opened the bag, then I knew it was containing money, and PW1 said he had given the sum of D300, 000 to the 1st accused," she testified.

Fatou Badjie adduced that, during the process, she could not identify who was sitting inside the car, but PW1 handed the bag to someone inside the car.

She added that after Condeh came home, he bought a bag of rice for her, and also gave her D200. She added that she went with Landing to where her husband works, and that prior to their arrival, Landing made a phone call to her husband telling him that he wanted to get Condeh, and if he escapes they will get him (Omar, her husband).

She also adduced that her husband, Condeh and the driver were all arrested, and taken to Serrekunda police station. Prior to their arrival at the station, Landing made a phone call to the 1st accused person, and told him that "PW1 is arrested, and you can to talk to him."

Condeh then told the 1st accused that he had been arrested, and was inside the vehicle. Condeh told Landing Bojang to release Omar Touray, as he was not part of the mission, and subsequently Omar was released, according to Fatou Mendy. 

PW6 said she could remember taking lunch for Condeh when he was in detention at the Serrekunda police station.

"As I was speaking to Condeh, I noticed the smell of alcohol on him, and I asked him where he got the alcohol from. He said it was the 1st accused who gave it to Tony to bring to him," she adduced.

She also told the court that she once went to Mile 2 to visit Condeh, where they discussed for about 30 minutes. She said on that occasion, Condeh told her that he regretted why he did not mention the name of the 1st accused person, since he was the one behind all their robbery activities.

"The prison officer who escorted Condeh was hearing all what we were saying, because he was not far from us," she told the court.

Meanwhile, the 5th prosecution witness, Amadou Jallow, another convicted robber, has concluded his testimony under cross-examination by the defence counsel, B.S. Touray, counsel for Ensa Badjie.

Hearing continues today   

The ex-Inspector General of Police, Ensa Badjie, and Chief Superintendent of Prisons Ali Ceesay were indicted on several counts including robbery with violence, official corruption, offences relating to judicial proceedings, deceiving witness, aiding and abetting, among others.