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Ex-female soldier opens defence

Aug 14, 2012, 11:32 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Yama Mendy, a 29-year-old former member of the Gambia Armed Forces and resident of Dippakunda, yesterday opened her defence in a false information case involving her at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, before Principal Magistrate Alagbe Ade Taiwo.

The accused was alleged to have given false information, by writing a petition to the Office of the President, claiming wrongful dismissal, because she failed to satisfy the sexual advances of one Lt. Ebrima Ngum, which she knew to be false.

Ms Mendy told the court that she was a soldier and was part of intake 13 training under the army’s plumbing unit.

She told the court that she met one Lt. Ebrima Ngum, who asked for her mobile phone number and she gave it to him.

She said that during a training session, they had a break and she went under a mango tree to rest for a while, at the back site of the camp.

While under the mango tree, she saw Lt. Ebrima Ngum, going and coming, and after some time Ngum stood beside her, and told her that he (Ngum) would be on night duty and she should come and spend the night with him.

The accused further told the court that she refused the request of Lt. Ngum, and told Ngum that she regarded him as her father, adding that Ngum asked her three times if she would not come.

The following day, she went to the training school to conduct a medical test, because it is a regulation for soldiers that one should not be pregnant, until after two years.

She said she was not pregnant, but when she went to collect her resuls, she met Lt. Ngum in his office who asked her whether she had a problem, and that if she had a problem she should let him (Ngum) know so that he could help her.

The witness told the court that she told Ngum that she has parents who could take care of her problems.

She said before she took the petition letter and the picture to the Office of the President, Captain Manneh called her to report to State House.

 Mendy said she reported to the State House the following day, but Captain Manneh was not at State House, but was at the defence headquarters.

Manneh told her that he was instructed by the President to interview her, but she did not report to the defence headquarters, because at that time she had already submitted her petition letter and the picture to the Office of the President.

 She said Manneh requested for her to submit her petition letter and the picture to him (Manneh), adding that she later received a call from the man to whom she submitted her petition letter and her picture too.

 Manneh called her to report to the State House, but when she called one Barrow, Barrow informed her that she should report to police headquarters, where she was interviewed with three girls, two of whom were pregnant, she stated, adding that she was later granted bail.

The case continues on 27 August 2012, for cross-examination.