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First prosecution witness in nurses’ case testifies

Feb 20, 2014, 9:15 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The first prosecution witness in the case involving Awa Beyai, Awa Sanneh and Ndey Ceesay, nurses at the Serrekunda Health Centre, testified on 19 February 2014 before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

During the last sitting, Chief Inspector Touray told the court that he had received consent from the Attorney General’s Chambers to prosecute the accused persons on count two, which was about abuse of office.

The defence counsel had objected that count two was struck out.

Magistrae Tabally then advised the prosecutor to file fresh charges against the accused persons, so that they could take new pleas.

As a result, the prosecutor on 19 February 2014 came up with fresh charges namely, two counts of neglect of official duty and abuse of office.

The accused persons again pleaded not guilty.

In her testimony, the first prosecution witness, Isatou Sambou, said she lives at Kotu, is a maid and she is married.

She could remember what happened on 17 November 2013 in the morning, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., adding that it was a school holiday.

Mrs Sambou told the court that on 17 November 2013, she had stomachache and went to the Serrekunda Health Centre.

She told the court that she gave birth to twins, who passed away.

Mrs Sambou added that she met Awa Beyai at the Serrekunda Health Centre, who was having her breakfast at the time.

She testified that she told Awa Beyai to assist her because she was in labour, adding that she told Awa Beyai that she had lost her father.

Mrs Sambou during her testimony cried in court, and at one stage, police prosecutor Touray applied to adjourn the case because the witness was crying.

However, defence counsel Camara objected, and urged the court to ask the witness to continue her testimony.

The witness then said she would continue her testimony, but the prosecutor maintained his application to adjourn the hearing.

He said the witness could not give evidence, while she was crying.

Magistrate Tabally then adjourned the case to 11 March 2014, for continuation.

Lawyers Camara and Sanyang formed the defence team.

The particulars of offence in count one stated that on 17 November 2013, at Serrekunda Health Centre in the Kanifing Municipality, the accused persons, being employed in the public service as nurses, neglected their official duty by failing to pay attention to a pregnant woman called Isatou Sambou, which led to delivery of her baby in the street, and thereby committed an offence.

Count two stated that on the same date and place, the accused persons, while employed in the public service as nurses, abused their office by failing to attend to a pregnant woman called Isatou Sambou, which was prejudicial to her rights.