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Ex-Police Commissioner cross- examined in Jobarteh’s trial

May 30, 2014, 9:53 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

LRR former police commissioner Omar Jawo recently testified under cross-examination in the trial involving former Justice Minister Lamin AMS Jobarteh, before Justice M. Abdulah of the Banjul High Court.

The witness told the court he was enlisted in The Gambia Police Force on 1 March 1982 and dismissed on 19 October 2012.

He adduced that after 30 years of service, he was “unlawfully dismissed” as a Commissioner of Police.

Jawo added that at the time of his dismissal, he was at LRR, and he did not file anything against the IGP regarding his “unlawful dismissal” because he had his reasons.

He said that Malagi Tambadou was his subordinate working under him at Bansang police.

Asked to tell the court when he arrested the Alkalo of Toubanding village, if he booked the arrival of the Alkalo in the diary.

The witness responded that he gave instruction for the Alkalo to be investigated, but he personally, as the police commissioner, it was not his duty to book the arrival of the Alkalo in the diary.

“I gave instructions to my OC, Chief Inspector Kaliba Nyang, to carry out the investigation,” he said.

The witness added that a complete case file contained cautionary and voluntary statement and the witness statement of the accused person.

“Who, in the chain of command, normally authorizes for the prosecution?” the counsel asked. The witness said sometimes it was the OC.

He added that in 2011, when he was in Bansang as the police commissioner, a complaint against the Alkalo of Toubanding village was brought to him by the District Chief and the accused, Jobarteh.

“The chief told me that Mustapha Kanyi has embezzled the government tax money, and this was in the presence of the accused person,” he added.

The accused said this was the habit of the Alkalo taking people’s money without land, he said, stating that action was recommended for that, but later the IPO recommended there was no case against the Alkalo.

He pointed out that he had a document to tender for reason for his dismissal, and as far as he knew, the accused person in the dock told him he would be transferred and dismissed.

He said later Jobarteh made a report against him through the IGP and he had the report that was filed by the accused to the office of the IGP but the full report was with the IPG.

At that juncture, the defence counsel requested for his dismissal letter, which the witness produced.

Counsel then applied to tender it as an exhibit, and there was no objection from the DPP, thus it was admitted and marked as exhibit.

“I was investigated by the IPG, but did not have the mandate to dismiss me. Only the President has the mandate to dismiss me,” Jawo stated.

He added that he was investigated about the armed attack that happened in his area, and he, the witness, was the first person to arrive at the scene, and the then area governor, Lamin Darboe.

He said when the report was issued he was not called anywhere.

He said he never said Mustapha Kanyi was cautioned and charged, because there was no case against Mustapha Kanyi, the Alkalo of Toubanding Village.

The case continues.