Feb 24, 2017, 1:42 PM
E.O. Dada of the High Court in Banjul yesterday ordered Ebrima Jawara and
Sulayman Manneh to appear in court today, to testify as witnesses in the
ongoing trial involving the state against five former senior Ministry of
The presiding Judge made the order, following the state’s application to issue summons for the two witnesses to appear in court.
The accused persons: Lamin Fatajo, Lamin Mass and Ada Gaye are charged with neglect of official duty, conspiracy to commit felony, forgery and uttering false documents.
When the matter came up, principal state counsel Aminchi Adeyemi told the court that the remaining witnesses were absent and she submitted that at the last adjourned date, the state applied that if the witnesses failed to appear yesterday before the court, a summons would be issued.
Adeyemi said Ebrima Jawara and Sulayman Manneh gave witness statements to the police, and she asked the court to direct the summons to the Inspector General of Police to secure the attendance of the two in court.
Defence lawyer B.S. Touray did not object to the application, but argued that the Inspector General of Police has no business with the summons issued by the court.
He said the two witnesses had been standing trial by the court under a similar charge.
Lawyer Adeyemi, in her response, said the police were the proper authority to ensure the attendance of the witnesses where the state could not reach them, because they gave witness statements and the police were the investigators.
She addressed the summons to the Inspector General of Police for him to forward it to the investigators.
She noted that Ebrima Jawara and Sulayman Manneh are standing trial on a different case, but if they were standing trial on a similar charge, they would have been charged together and that the evidence they were to give is based on what they know.
The presiding Judge said the duo are not standing trial with the accused persons and, therefore, directed the Inspector General of Police to ensure their appearance in court today at 2.30pm.