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Defence witnesses testify in Lt. Col. Solo Bojang and Co trial

Jan 3, 2014, 9:59 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Three defence witnesses Tuesday testified in the trial involving Lt. Col. Solo Bojang and Anineh Jammeh, at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Jobarteh.

Solo Bojang and Anineh Jammeh, both former employees of Kanilai Family Farm, are being tried under a two-count charge of conspiracy and theft.

First to testify as defence witness one (DW1), was one Ansumana Badjie, who told the court he was from Bayanka in cassamance, and that he knew the 2nd accused, because they are related.

He said he came to know the 1st accused, Solo Bojang, because of the work assigned to them.

DW1 revealed that the 2nd accused told them he wanted them to cut fence poles for him, adding that while cutting the fence poles, they felt hungry and they later went to the 1st accused in Kanilai and he gave them rice and oil.

He stated that he went back to his people and told them that Solo had given them rice but there was nothing to cook it with, adducing that they went to the 2nd accused to demand the bull and he gave them one bull.

He said that after cutting them, the 2nd accused came with two tractors to collect them, and some of the poles were still there because it coincided with the arrest of the accused persons.

He also said the work was done by the whole village.

Responding to questions from the prosecutor, Sub-Inspector Sarr, DW1 said he knew the 1st accused through the 2nd accused.

Asked for how long had he known the accused persons, DW1 said it had been a long time since he knew them.

“You said the 2nd accused told you that the 1st accused said that the President asked them to cut the fence poles,” ask the prosecutor.

“Yes,” replied DW1.

He said he spoke with him and he told him the fence poles were ready, and there was no specific amount, adding that he knew the first accused and whatever he told him was the truth.

DW1 said he knew the 2nd accused because they were neighbours even though he (DW1) was from Cassamance.

He said he demanded the bull but did not know were the bull was coming from, adding that he saw the cows with the 2nd accused and it was the 2nd accused who gave him the work to do.

He said he is the head of the youth in Bayanka, and the massage was passed through the village alkalo.

“I was told that the President needed the job so if I am given his bull to eat is okay,” said DW1, adding that if no work was assigned to them they would not have given the bull because they were in Casamance.

Responding to questions from the 2nd accused, DW1 said it was true the 1st accused directed him to the 2nd accused.

Also testifying as defence witness two (DW2) was one Kawsu Badjie of Kafunda in Cassamance, who said he is a farmer and knew the 2nd accused person through the work given to them.

He said the 2nd accused was mediating between them and the President to come and do some work which was to cut the fence poles.

DW2 said the 2nd accused told them the head of state wanted them to do some work for him and they agreed.

He said the 2nd accused told them that any day they were ready, they could inform him and he would give them their cooking needs, adding that when they were ready to do the work, they informed the 2nd accused and he directed them to the 1st accused who gave them rice and oil.

“The 1st day we collected rice, oil and bull and the 2nd day too we were given rice, oil and bull,” said DW2.

DW2 also said he knew DW1 and they met at Bayanka but were not from the same village, stating that they cut the fence poles for two days and it was about 300 poles.

He said on the last day of cutting the poles, there was fighting in the village, so they could not collect it.

Under cross-examination by the 2nd accused, who asked him if it was not true that he collected the two bulls on the same day, and DW2 replied in the affirmative.

DW2 said it was true that before the 2nd accused gave the bull to them he called the 1st accused to let him know that one of bull was very sick.

“I am putting it to you that I called the 1st accused because he is the one who gave me the bulls to take care and because they were given to him by the President for that purpose,” said the 2nd accused.

“Yes we told you, since the bull was sick give it to us,” replied DW2.

Responding to questions from the prosecutor, DW2 said he collected them on the same date and that one was sick.

“I am putting it to you that it is not correct to eat an animal that is sick without being taken to a veterinary officer,” said the prosecutor.

“For us, when our animal is sick we slaughter and eat it,” DW2 said.

The third defence witness (DW3), one Momodou Badjie, also testified.

The case was adjourned till 6 January 2014.