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Deputy Speaker testifies in court

Apr 29, 2011, 2:17 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

Hon Fatou Mbye, deputy speaker of the National Assembly, yesterday testified at the Kanifing Magistrates' Court in the trial of one Ida Kumba Drammeh, who was charged with stealing from a dwelling house.

In her testimony, Hon Mbye told the court that she lives at Kanifing East Layout , and is the deputy speaker of the National Assembly.

She said she got to know the accused person during the latter part of 2009.

She said during the hosting of the Beijing Plus 15 review meeting in The Gambia, a handful of women came to ask for advice on how to become member of the association.

She further adduced that after giving them advise, a women’s association was setup called "Jilinka", and they adopted her husband as father and herself as mother of the said association.

Still testifying, she told the court that it involved as a practice that the association would conduct monthly meetings, and when necessarily they would conduct the meetings weekly.

She said the accused person would voluntarily help in the cleaning, and while doing so would chat with her family members, adding that this was how the accused became close to her family.

She said the accused person's biological father later came to cement the relationship, and as such the accused became like an adopted daughter to her.

"I was sending her into my bedroom just as I would sent my daughters," Mrs Mbye added.

"I recalled that on 19 September 2010, I was in Senegal on national duty with the Vice President. We were to return to The Gambia on 18 September 2010, but the aircraft developed a technical problem," she further told the court.

"I called my daughter to bring some items to Banjul airport, as I knew that I would not be able to get home and rush back to the airport," she added.

According to her she proceeded to Lagos, Nigeria, and on her return she was informed about a missing vanity box, adding that she was told by her husband that he had reported the matter to the police.

She said she called the family, including the accused person, about the missing vanity box because she was told that the accused was the suspect.

She added that, as a mother, she called all of them to give them a chance, adding that after she finished talking, the accused just got up without saying a word, and they dispersed.

She further indicated that nothing had been recovered.

The case presided over by Magistrate Drammeh was subsequently adjourned till 10 May 2011.