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Expelled NAM, Ex-Soldier Drug Case Resumes

Feb 27, 2009, 4:25 AM | Article By: Modou Sanyang

The drug case involving Dawda Manneh former National Assembly Member for Nianija and Demba Baldeh an ex-soldier resumed yesterday before Principal Magistrate Edrissa Mbai of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

Former Nianija NAM Dawda Manneh, and Demba Baldeh, are standing trial on charges of being in possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking it as well as conspiracy. They were alleged to have conspired to traffic 9 kilograms and 260 grams of suspected drug (cannabis). They denied the charges.

Testifying Sgt Babucarr Corr, a narcotic officer, told the court that he recognised the 1st accused Dawda Manneh. He said on 15th September 2008 he left Tallinding police station to the NDEA headquarter in Banjul to hand over a case file. He added that after handing over the case file he was called by the NDEA operational commander Commissioner Ousman Sanneh. He revealed that Commissioner Ousman Sanneh gave him a cautionary and voluntary statement and asked him to assist in obtaining the statements from the 1st accused Dawda Manneh.

Further testifying, Sgt Corr told the court that Commissioner Ousman Sanneh introduced to him an independent witness, adding that he identified himself to the 1st accused as Sgt Babucarr Corr, and later introduced the independent witness to the accused Dawda Manneh. He said he cautioned the accused Dawda Manneh and he Manneh started to narrate all what he knew about the case and it was all written down. He said after the completion of the statement it was read all over to the accused Dawda Manneh in the presence of an independent witness. He said the accused Dawda Manneh was given the opportunity to read the statement by himself to his satisfaction, which he thumb-printed, and the independent witness signed. Sgt Corr also told the court that he obtained the voluntary statement from the accused Dawda Manneh and later charged him for being in possession of a prohibited drug, which he vehemently denied.

The case has been adjourned to 12th March 2009.