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‘Benedict Jammeh never ordered my arrest’

Mar 10, 2011, 2:29 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Ensa Badjie, the former police chief, yesterday told the Special Criminal Court that Benedict Jammeh (at the time the Inspector General of Police and now Executive Director of the National Drug Enforcement Agency) had never ordered his arrest.

Badjie was continuing his defence in the trial related to robbery, among other charges, involving him and chief Superintendent of Prisons Ali Ceesay.

Put to him by his counsel, BS Touray, that first prosecution witness (PW1) Soriba Condeh said he knew him in 2001, Badjie responded that he did not know Condeh before, and denied arresting him with bundles of cannabis and five kilograms of cannabis. He said he arrested Condeh on robbery offences.

He refuted the allegation that he asked Soriba Condeh about the amount of money he was having in his possession, at the time, and further denied receiving D2,000 from Condeh.

“I did not introduce Tony to PW1, and I did not jointly own a bar with Tony, because I am a Muslim,” Badjie added.

 “I did not know any Saikou Touray of Manjai Kunda,” the ex-police chief further told the court.

When again asked by his lawyer whether he had ever given any operational instrument to PW1 in return for three cartons of cigarettes, Badjie in his reply told the court that he had never given any operational instrument to PW1 and his crew for shop breaking.

“Did you at anytime purchase a cutter and a hammer to the tune of D25,000 for PW1 and his crew?” asked the defence counsel.

“No,” said the witness, adding that he had never met PW1, and also denied the allegation that he did give his vehicle to Soriba Condeh for criminal operations.

Badjie told the court that he never instructed Soriba Condeh to rob a supermarket at the Saffiden, nor did he asked for money from them.

“I have never invited Dodou Boy Janneh to my office at KairabaPolice Station to count money for me, because I am more educated than him,” he explained.

His counsel again put it to him that PW1 had said, after robbing a supermarket, one Salieu Baldeh was arrested and they came to him (Badjie) and offered him D12,000 for him to release Salieu.

Badjie again responded: “It was not true, because the file was sent to the major crime unit, and later to the prosecution, and I did not give the telephone number of Omar Jahateh to PW1.”

He said he had never spoken to Omar Jahateh about this issue, and denied the allegation that he facilitated a vehicle to transport a safe that was robbed from the supermarket.

“After the arrest of Soriba, we visited the Bureau de Change and took photographs of the scene, and obtained the statement from PW1. He was charged, and he admitted the charge,” Badjie told the court in his defence.

“I have never called Ebrima Suma to leave the place where he was, because we were coming to arrest him, as alleged by PW1,” he added.

According to Badjie, he had never conspired with Omar Jahateh for the escape of trial prisoners, on their way to Bundung Magistrates’ Court, adding that he never worked with any armed robber.

He said, if so, the reports would have proved it, because it was investigated by both the police and the NIA, in 2007, adding that there was no time when Benedict Jammeh made an order for his arrest.

The case at that juncture was adjourned till 11th March 2011.