#Article (Archive)

Ex-IGP Badjie opens defence in robbery trial

Feb 3, 2011, 11:44 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Ensa Badjie former Inspector General of Police yesterday opened his defence in the robbery trial involving him and Chief Superintendent of Prison, Ali Ceesay, at the special criminal court in Banjul before Justice Ikpala.

Ensa Badjie and Ali Ceesay were arraigned at the court, after being indicted on different counts, including conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery with violence, receiving stolen property, aiding and abetting, robbery, conspiracy to commit misdemeanour, aiding prisoner to escape, official corruption, conspiracy to defeat justice and interference with witnesses, deceiving witnesses, offences relating to judicial proceeding, and using criminal charms, among others.

Badjie in his defence told the court that he was the former police chief, and that he joined the Gambia police force on 1st March 1989, and was promoted to the rank of IGP in 2008.

He said he was promoted to the rank of lance corporal in July 1994; in 1996 promoted to the rank of sergeant; in 2000 promoted to the rank of sub-inspector while at the Kotu police station, and as the station officer for the Criminal Investigation Department, CID.

“In 2003 I was promoted to the rank of full inspector, and I was posted to the Brikama police station, as the CID station officer,” he added.

“In 2005, I was promoted to the rank of chief inspector and posted to the Serrekunda police station, as the station officer, under general duties, adding that in 23 March 2005, “I left for Sudan for peacekeeping, and returned in 2006.”

The ex-IGP further adduced that, after a few months, he was promoted to the rank of ASP at the Kanifing police station, where he was the assistant commander.

He added that, in May 2007, after the conviction of the burglars who alleged that they gave him money, he was then promoted under the directive of the President to the rank of commissioner at the office of the Crime Management Coordinator, CMC. He added that he had skipped the ranks of superintendent, chief superintendent and deputy commissioner.

“I spent only three weeks in that office, and i was sent to Ethiopia on the border demarcation conference with other senior officials, including the interior minister,” he told the court.

Former IGP Badjie further said that upon his return he was transferred to the Brikama Division, as a commissioner, adding that in 2008 he returned to the office of the CMC, as the CMC.

“After a couple of months, I was promoted to the rank of IGP, under the directive of the President and I was in that office for one year, nine to ten months.

“At the end of 2008, the President stated on GRTS that now he has the best Inspector General of Police,” Ensa Badjie told the court.

“On 2nd March 2010, I was sent to Mile 2, without being cautioned and charged or brought before any court of law on the allegation that I conspired with two other military officers and a civilian to obtain money from people,” he told the court.

He stated that he was never arrested for that case, but for a different case.

When reminded by his defence counsel that he was charged with 12 counts, and asked whether he has ever conspired with Soriba Condeh and his team to commit conspiracy, Ensa Badjie response was that he had never on earth conspired with Soriba Condeh and his team.

He was again asked by his counsel, BS Touray, whether he had ever jointly with Soriba Condeh and others robbed or procured any act of robbery.

At that juncture, the Director of Public Prosecutions, M. Abdullahi, objected to the line of examination of the witness, stating that the question put to the witness was leading.

He said it was against the provisions of the Evidence Act, and urged the court to disallow the question.
In response, defence counsel Borry Touray stated that the objection was baseless, submitting that there is no rule of law which says a witness cannot be asked a question to affirm.

He added that he was asking the question purely on the face of the charge. Not merely because the witness in the box is giving a negative answer does not make it a leading question, he continued.

Counsel Touray further submitted that a leading question is one that suggested an answer, submitting that he was not suggesting any answer, and urged the court to overrule the objection.

The presiding judge overruled the prosecution’s objection, and allowed the witness to answer the question.

The witness then said he had never conspired to commit a robbery with Soriba Condeh, adding that the allegations contained in all the 12 counts are not true.

“There is no iota of truth in it, because I led to the arrest of the 11 accused persons and led to their successfully investigation for the offence they committed,” Badjie stated.

He further adduced that there was a night patrol team which constituted more that 100 officers, and that he stood before them and took a pledge that anybody who arrested Soriba Condeh he would give him or her D1000.

The witness said this was confirmed by Landing Bojang in this court, adding that he was the head of that patrol team and the Officer Commanding the CID office’s Serrekunda unit.

Still testifying, Badjie said: “I got information that Soriba Condeh was arrested. I told them to burn his hair, if not he will escape: “I personally burnt the hair of Soriba.”

He stated that, after burning his hair, he took Soriba to the police cell.

The case was at that juncture adjourned until 9 and 12 February 2011, at 12 noon and 9:30 am.