Aug 14, 2013, 10:36 AM
Bolong Jobarteh, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, and two others namely, Ahmed Samba and Kemo Touray, were yesterday arraigned before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Magistrate Alagba.
The accused persons are being tried on three counts of conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, sale of noxious and sale of unwholesome foods, charges they have all denied.
Testifying for the prosecution, Halimatou Baldeh told the court that she works for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and she resides in Farato.
She told the court that she recognized the first accused person, Bolong Jobarteh.
She adduced that she knows something about selling flour that was infected with weevils.
She said she could recall what occurred between May and June 2010.
“I was asked by Omar Bun Njie, Director of Food Standards, to go and count the number of bags of flour that, he said, was infected with weevils,” the witness told the court.
She indicated that she went with other officers, including Kebba B. Sanneh, Matilda Dibba and Ebrima Jallow to the said store, which was located in Serrekunda around WestField Junction.
“Upon our arrival, we found the store was locked and could not be accessed,” said the witness.
She added that she went with the same people, the next day, and found bags of flour in the store.
“I counted them, and it was 350 bags”, said the prosecution witness.
Asked whether she saw anybody in the store, she replied in the affirmative, adding that she could not identify the person.
Still testifying, she told the court that she served the owner with a detention certificate, and went with a copy to their office.
According to the witness, the detention certificate means to detain the foodstuff in the store.
When shown a copy of the said certificate, the witness recognized it, and it was admitted and tendered as an exhibit.
Under cross-examination, the witness said the first accused was the chief public health officer, and was responsible for food inspection.
When asked whether on that day she did not find a station officer conducting a sorting out of the said flour, the witness said she found a junior public health officer there.
The case was at that juncture adjourned to 23 August 2011.