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Efry Mbye and Rongo criminal trial continues

Apr 14, 2011, 2:09 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial involving Momodou Jarju alias Rongo and Abdoulie Mbye alias Efry Mbye continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

The two are being tried on charges of giving false information to a public officer, making false documents, uttering false documents and prohibition of conduct conducive to a breach of the peace.

Continuing his testimony under cross-examination, Imam Yahya Bah of Banjulnding village denied indicating in his statements at the police that because of different mosques in Banjulinding this was why there used to be a problem.

“As a Muslim leader, I needed to advocate for the building of more mosques in the communities. This was what I used to advocate, during my Friday summons,” he told the court under cross-examination.

Imam Bah further told the court that he could not read and write in English, but he could understand the language, adding that he could recognize the said letter the accused persons wrote, because he has seen it at the NDEA’s main office, when they were called by the Executive Director of NDEA.

Asked by defence counsel E. Jah how confident he was about the content of the letter, since if he could not read and write how can he know the content.

In reply, Imam Bah told the court that the letter came to them, before they were called to the NDEA office.

He added that the first accused first read the letter at the Banjulinding bantaba during a meeting, and that before reading the letter, Rongo told the villagers that the letter was from the Office of the President.

Still testifying under cross-examination, Imam Bah told the court that the first accused told them, at the meeting, that the letter was addressed to one Malang Badjie selected by the President of the Republic of the Gambia as chairman of the council of elders of Banjulinding.

When the defence counsel asked, whether as imam he was aware that the said letter was from the Office of the President, imam Bah told the court that this was what the first accused person told the villagers.

He said he could not tell the court what persons, before Eric Tundeh Janneh became the alkalo, were in the council of elders in Banjulinding.

However, the defence counsel told the imam that he was not telling the court the truth, as an imam, but imam Bah maintained that he was speaking the truth.

“We were called at the NDEA main office in Kanifing and advised to forget our differences, and we all agreed to that; but another letter came which caused alarm in the village,” he added.

The case was adjourned till 27 April 2011.