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City Pub proprietor testifies in Ex -IGP Badjie's trial

Jul 28, 2010, 12:11 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Tony Baba Khan, the proprietor of City Pub Bar and Restaurant in Serrekunda was the next to testify in the robbery trial of the ex-police chief Ensa Badjie and Chief Superintendent of Prisons, Ali Ceesay before Justice Ikpala at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Testifying as the 7th witness for the prosecution on Monday, Tony Baba Khan told the court that he lives in Bakoteh, and he is running a business, called City Pub Bar and Restaurant in Serrekunda.

He said he recognised the 1st accused person, Ensa Badjie, who is his friend.

Tony adduced that Fatou Mendy stood as surety for Soriba Condeh (PW1) without an ID card, adding that this was in his presence at Bokoteh Police Station where Soriba was detained.

PW7 also testified that he knows Soriba Condeh and Fatou Mendy. He said one day, Soriba Condeh came to his bar and bought drinks, adding that from that day, Condeh started to frequent the bar.

Tony added that one day Condeh told him that he got information that Ensa Badjie is his (Tony's) friend, and that Condeh also told him that Ensa Badjie is his friend.

He said Condeh also told him that he was engaged doing business in Casamance.

Tony further testified that Condeh had told him that one day he was going home when his motor bike was pounded by the police at the Bakoteh Police Station. Consequently, he (Tony) went to the Bakoteh Police Station, where he found Condeh and Fatou Mendy.

The officer at the station, Tony testified, told Condeh that he could not release the motor bike without consulting his boss, Ensa Badjie. He added that Condeh then told the officer to call Ensa Badjie for him to talk to Badjie.

Tony said that after the communication, Ensa Badjie told Condeh to leave the motor bike at the police station, adding that the officer also told Condeh that he should find a surety to bail him.

"PW1 told me that he was going to Cassamance to oversee his business, and since PW1 left it has been a while that I did not see him," Tony added.

The 1st accused, PW7 continued, later came to his bar and restaurant and informed him that he wanted to see Condeh, and that he should inform him (Badjie) whenever he sees Condeh.

Tony testified that after Ensa Badjie left he came to see Condeh, and then called to inform Ensa Badjie.

When Ensa Badjie came to the bar he found Condeh drinking, but Ensa Badjie said this was not the Ramsis he was looking for.

"Well, I thought this Ramsis had committed a crime, because I always supply the 1st accused with information," he added.

Asked by the prosecutor, M. Abdullahi, whether Ramsis was Soriba Condeh, Tony said 'Yes', because he was the only Ramsis he (Tony) knew. However, Ensa Badjie told him that the Ramsis he was referring to was "fair in colour," Tony told the court.

According to Tony, Ensa Badjie gave him D2500 to give to Ramsis, and that he had given the said money to Soriba Condeh.

After giving the D2500, he continued, he had not met PW1 for a while. However, to his surprise, while standing around his bar one day, he saw Condeh and Ensa Badjie inside a red 190 Benz car, Tony further told the court.

"I was called by the 1st accused, and I asked them for their destination, and the 1st accused welcomed me to enter the car, saying that after he will bring me back," Tony continued. "We drove directly to Fatou Joko Mendy's compound at Bakoteh," Tony added.

According to PW7, Condeh then entered the compound while Ensa Badjie waited in the car. Tony told the court that he saw Condeh returning with a nylon bag to the car, and they headed towards his bar.

At the bar, Tony went on, Condeh bought stout and, while they were seated in the bar, he saw Condeh handing a nylon bag to Ensa Badjie. Because of the weight, he personally had to get up and help give the bag to Ensa Badjie, Tony added.

"While handing the bag, PW1 said to the 1st accused here is the money. That was the time I knew the contents of the bag."  Both Condeh and Ensa Badjie left the bar soon after, Tony told the court.

Tony also told the court that, later he was told that certain men were arrested in connection with stealing, adding that he personally went to Serrekunda Police Station where he found Condeh and others in detention.

The next day, Tony added, "I went to the 1st accused where I found PW1 and others, and I found that PW1 was calling someone on his phone. The 1st accused gave me D100 to buy Africell Scratch card and cigarettes.

"I gave the items to the 1st accused and, in my presence, the 1st accused gave the items to PW1. Then I informed him of my departure," Tony said, in concluding his testimony.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel BS Touray, Tony said when Condeh said to Ensa Badjie, “here is the money”, that was the time he knew that the bag was containing money, but could not ascertain the amount.

He said he went to Serrekunda Police Station regularly, because he was the best informant of the 1st accused. He said he was not sure that Dodou Janneh was an informant when he (Janneh) left City Pub as a security guard in 2006, when counsel asked the witness whether Dodou Janneh was a voluntary police informant, when he left City Pub in 2006.

The witness also said he could not remember the date when he made his statement at the NIA.

"Was it in March 2010?" asked counsel. "I know it was in March 2010, but I cannot remember the month," replied Tony.

Hearing continues today.