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95 Paraded as Babylon Trial Resumes

Apr 23, 2008, 8:14 AM | Article By: By Abdoulie Nyockeh & Abdoulie Nget

The 95 people, who allegedly went on the rampage in Babylon demolishing structures and setting houses on fire, were yesterday paraded at the courtyard of the Brikama Magistrates' Court as their case resumed for continuation.

The 95 were some time last month arrested by security agents and subsequently charged with alleged offences of being armed in public, arson and conspiracy to commit a felony.

On the resumption of the case on Tuesday, the counsel for the accused persons, Antouman Gaye, subjected the 'self-styled' Alkalo of Babylon to a rigorous cross-examination. During the cross-examination, the reported self-acclaimed Alkalo of Babylon, Lamin Jarju, maintained that he was the Alkalo of Babylon and that he had demarcated plots of land but did not sell any. Jarju also admitted, under cross-examination, that he was filling forms using his own stamp as the Alkalo of Babylon.

Still cross-examining Jarju, counsel Gaye put it to him that he was the 'biggest' troublemaker in the land and that he was once taken to Campama mental home by  former Chief  Eric Tunde Janneh for head-reading. Jarju had accepted that he was once taken to Campama for mental test but denied Counsel Gaye's assertions that he was once taken to Mile II by Eric Tunde.

"How many times have you been taken to the NIA?" asked lawyer Gaye. "Once," replied Jarju. "I'm putting it to you that you've been taken to NIA for more than once," asserted Gaye.

When put to him that he was mostly involved in land issues, Jarju replied in the negative.

When further asked whether he was not a one-time soldier of the Gambia National Army now re-baptised the Gambia Armed Force, Jarju responded in the positive but denied that he was dismissed from the force.

"I'm putting it to you that you were dismissed from the army," posited Gaye. "No," replied Jarju.

Asked as to how many freelance guards he had, Jarju said he had many private guards with a non-Gambian in the person of one Tony Bellia. He said the private guards were in Babylon to safeguard lives and property. But Gaye put it to him that he was not speaking the truth.

The case continues today.      

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