Apr 21, 2009, 7:11 AM
Karamo Bojang, former deputy director of the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA), who is standing trial for the offence of theft and abuse of office, yesterday opened his defence at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe.
Bojang told the court that he originally lived in Kombo Sanyang, but presently is living at Mile 2 Central Prison.
He added that he was an NDEA officer for 27 years, and rose through the various ranks to the position of deputy director of the NDEA.
“I was the deputy director of the NDEA and Ibrahim Bun Sanneh was the director of the NDEA. Our office was situated in Banjul beside the police headquarters,” he added.
He said his duties were, among others, to oversee the administration, and he was in charge of the admin. office, and scientific support unit.
Bojang said he knew Mbye Njie (PW1), and Kalilou Njie, as well as the former commissioner of operations.
In 2006, he received information that somebody had died, and was found dead in his house, he said, adding that he called Mbye Njie and asked him about the scene.
Mbye Njie told him on the telephone that he was presently at the scene, in the house of the deceased person at Ebo Town, adding that the reason he called Njie was because Mbye Njie was representing the NDEA based in Serrekunda.
The accused further told the court that Samuel OKafu, a Nigerian national, was the deceased person and the remains of Okafu was later taken to the RVTH by the taskforce members for a postmortem.
The postmortem was later carried out in the presence of the taskforce officers, and some pallets of cocaine were recovered from his stomach, he said.
Bojang further revealed that the recovered pallets were handed over to the CID officers who were leading the investigators at the time, and they were later given to Mbye Njie, who later handed the said drugs to the former commissioner of operations, Ousman Sanneh.
Ousman Sanneh then handed over to the exhibits keeper of the NDEA, Alieu Jassey, adding that Alieu Jassey kept the said cocaine in the safe which was located in his (Bojang’s) office, but Jassey was the custodian of the key.
“I later saw the said cocaine at the drug destruction site,” he said, adding that the NDEA had a board of directors who decide when to destroy the drugs.
The board of directors constituted the IGP, CDS, Solicitor General, NDEA boss, and the chairman of the board, adding that before the drugs destruction day, the NDEA boss would write to the Master of the High Court to collect all the drugs from cases that were dealt with by the magistrates’ courts.
“The last destruction exercise I witnessed was in 2009, when the hard drugs were placed on top of the cannabis. The pallets of cocaine that were found in the stomach of Mr Okafu were identified by Commissioner Kalilou Njie, and he (Kalilou) picked up one of them,” he told the court.
“I asked him whether he recognised those pallets, and Kalilou Njie said he did and that it was from the deceased Samuel Okafu,” he added.
Bojang went on to say that this was in the presence of Ibrahim Bun Sanneh and Ousman Sanneh, adding that he also recognised the pallet because it was stained with blood, and it appeared different from the others.
It was later returned to the heap and burnt to ashes, Bojang continued, adding that the charges against him were fabricated and a witch-hunt.
The case continues on 18 September 2012.