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Deputy Chief of Protocol gives evidence

Aug 18, 2011, 2:24 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Babucarr M.S. Jobarteh, Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Office of the President, yesterday testified in the trial of one Kebba Jobarteh, who is being tried for giving false information at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Alagba.

This came after a subpoena was issued to the witness to come and give evidence in court.

In his evidence-in-chief, the witness told the court that he is a civil servant, and that he resides in Brusubi.

He said that he knows the accused person, but they are not related.

Deputy Chief of Protocol Jobarteh further adduced that, on 21st September 2010 whilst at his office, he received a call from one Mr. Jagne at the Gambia Ports Authority to clarify his personality as the deputy chief of protocol. 

“He asked me my whereabouts, and I told him that I was at my office,” said the witness, adding that he then located the direction of his office to Jagne in order to confirm that he was presently in his office.

“I was then informed by the caller that someone came to their office alleging that he was Babucarr Jobarteh, deputy chief of protocol, and that his wife gave birth to a baby and was demanding ten crates of drinks for the naming ceremony,” Mr. Jobarteh added. 

He said he informed the caller that he was not aware of such.

The deputy chief of protocol further indicated that he was later called to the police headquarters in Banjul to give a statement, which he did.

Under cross-examination, when put to the witness by the accused that they are all from the same descendants, he replied in the negative.

When it was put it to him that he ordered for his arrest, the witness responded that he had no authority to order the arrest of anybody.

He testified that it was Mr Jagne who called him to confirm that he was Babucarr Jobarteh, Deputy Chief of Protocol.

Still under cross-examination, the witness admitted knowing Momodou Lamin Gibba, then Managing Director of Gambia Ports Authority.

Asked how he came to know Mr. Gibba, Jobarteh responded that he worked with Mr. Gibba at the Personal Management Office, and he knew him for over ten years.

When further quizzed that after knowing each other for ten years, how come someone could represent himself to Mr.Gibba that he was Babucarr Jobarteh.

The witness replied that was why he was called to identify himself, adding that Mr. Gibba did not call him that day.

He denied framing the accused, saying: “I was not aware of it; that was why I was called to confirm.”

Asked whether he could remember making statement at the CID office that he (the accused) was responsible for all his problems. 

The witness replied in the affirmative, adding: “You were using my name to create problems for me.”

He further revealed that the accused’s name is not Kebba Jobarteh but Ba-gimmeh Jobarteh, an allegation the accused denied.

He further noted that he was surprised when the accused said that their two parents were related.

“At the time of the allegation by the accused, I was the deputy chief of protocol, Office of the President,” Mr Jobarteh told the court.

He further indicated that none of his subordinate staff had similar name with him, and that he had not had any personal relationship with the accused during his tenure.

A statement was shown to the witness by the prosecution, which he recognized and it was admitted and tendered as an exhibit.

Hearing was then set to continue on 29th August 2011.