May 17, 2011, 2:04 PM
Ex-Major Kuluteh Manneh, a former commander of the army’s military police unit, has told the Special Criminal Court that the charges against him were fabricated, malicious, false and part of witch-hunting.
“I had never conspired with anybody be it in The Gambia or abroad. The counts were fabricated, malicious, false and witch-hunting. I had never ever uttered any seditious word to anybody in this country, that the President of the Republic has given me drugs for sale,” Manneh said.
Manneh was continuing his testimony in the case involving him, ex-Lt.
He told the court that he knew the 1st accused, Ensa Badjie, as the then IGP, and denied having personal nor family relationships with Badjie, adding that he was not acquainted with Ensa Badjie.
Manneh added that he lived at Farato, but he did not know where the 1st accused lived, further stating that since he knew himself he could not remember ever sitting with Badjie, except at Mile 2 prison.
“I knew the 2nd accused some time between 1987 and 1988,” he said.
He said he heard the evidence of the prosecution witnesses in court, and that the charges against him are not true.
“I had never informed anybody that the President had given me drugs for sale, and that I should return the proceeds to him after selling the cocaine,” he added.
Since the inception of the trial, Manneh continued, no witness had alleged that he (Manneh) informed him or her that the President gave him drugs to sell, and he further denied that he ever informed any member of the public nor any individual.
“I had never conspired with anybody be it in the Gambia or abroad. The counts were fabricated, malicious, false and witch-hunting. I have never uttered any seditious word to anybody in this country that the President of the Republic had given me drugs for sale, and I considered it as ridiculous,” Manneh stated.
He said as a responsible security officer operating in a country where drugs are prohibited, even an insane people would not go around saying that the President has given him prohibited drugs for sale, he continued.
He said even if the President had given him meat to sell, he would not go round informing people about it, and that the counts were a mockery against him.
Designated as DW3, Manneh told the court that he did not know Omar Ndaw, and he never had any dealings with Omar Ndaw, adding that the 1st day he saw Omar Ndaw was on 13 March 2010, at the NIA in Banjul.
He also denied that he ever acted in a manner tantamount to abuse of office, further denying the allegation that he had collected money from Omar Ndaw.
“I did not know Aron David Wright and I had never seen him. He had never appeared before the panel and he had never testified against me in court. So I do not know where the charge emanated from,” the ex-army officer told the court.
The witness added that he did not know Ikemefuna, and had never seen him, neither had any dealings with him; that he (Ikemefuna) did not appear before the panel at the NIA, and never testified in court against him.
Manneh denied all the charges preferred against him by the state, and further stated that he had no idea about a military helicopter and was never introduced to any unit of the services where there was a military helicopter.
There was no evidence to support this charge and the allegation that he had received the sum of D100,000 from Omar Ndaw for the transportation of the prohibited drugs, and the counts were baseless, Manneh said in court.
The case continues on 26 June 2012.