Aug 17, 2011, 2:50 PM
Kebba E.A. Touray former National Assembly Member and one Alhagie Musa Joof, yesterday continued their defence at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Tabally.
The two accused persons were arraigned on three counts of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, making documents without authority and given false information to a public officer.
Testifying in his defence, the second accused person, Alhagie Musa Joof, told the court that he lives at Farafenni, and that he was a businessman.
He said he was the coordinator of the Green Boys for the North Bank Region.
“I was alleged to have written a petition to the Office of the President in March 2010,” the accused told the court.
He told the court that he received a call from some people that they wanted to see him, and that they were from the President’s Office and were sent by him.
According to Joof, he met them at the police station in Farafenni, adding that he was later invited to the CID office in Farafenni and was shown a letter that he (the accused) allegedly had written to the President’s Office, which he denied.
He added that he was detained for days at the CID office, noting that he was also alleged to have tarnished the image of the Governor, divisional chief, and chairman of the area council, as well as the divisional youth mobiliser for the North Bank Region.
At that junction, the trial magistrate referred the second accused person to the testimony of the first accused, and asked him to shed light on that portion of the evidence, as the said allegation was the subject of the petition to the President’s Office.
Continuing his testimony, Joof told the court that the problem he had with the Governor was before this allegation against him, and that was settled.
He adduced that the problem between him and the Regional Governor was when he told him of taking away his place, a place he had ownership of for 15 years.
He said the Governor had sent some physical planning officers, who threw his belongings out of his place.
He added that he later called the first accused person, and explained to him what had transpired, and informed him that he was coming to Banjul the following day to see the President.
Mr Joof said that when he met the first accused in Banjul, he advised him to go to the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, before going to see the President.
He added that, when he went to the Ministry of Local Government and Lands they did not find the Minister, but instead meet the deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS).
He said they explained the problem to him, who told him that there was no need for him to see the President, as he would talk to the Governor.
Joof further told the court that the DPS told him to spend the night in Banjul, so that they could travel together to Farafenni as he intended to go there the following day.
The second accused person said he contacted the first accused person (Kebba Touray) before leaving, informing Touray that he would be going with the DPS to Farafenni on the following day.
He testified that, upon reaching the Governor’s office in Kerewan, the Governor agreed to give back his land, and then he left with the DPS to Farafenni.
According to him, the Governor later called him for them to meet at the said place, which he did.
“The Governor told me that the foundation stone has already been laid and that he would give me another place, to which I agree,” said the second accused, adding that he was satisfied with the place the Governor identified to him.
“It was after all this that I was called, and alleged to have written a petition to the President,” he continued.
He maintained that he did not write the petition neither did he authorized anybody to do so on his behalf.
Responding to questions under cross-examination, the accused admitted that he was cautioned in respect of this matter at the police station, and that he was satisfied with what he said, and his statement was read over to him, which he signed.
Asked whether he could recall saying in his cautionary statement that it was the first accused who told him to write the petition, he replied that he did not say so.
Told that he met with the first accused and discussed about a canteen, and to write a petition, Joof replied in the affirmative, adding he was advised by the first accused to do so, but he did not write the petition.
He denied that they both discussed to write a petition.
When further quizzed as to whether the first accused was the right person to lodge his complaint with, the accused responded in the negative, noting that he did so because the first accused was a former National Assembly Member.
He further told the court that the National Assembly Member of the area, at that time, told him that it was not his problem and that he should report it to the Ministry of Local Government and Lands.
When asked the reason for bringing the first accused into the problem, when he knew about Local Government, Joof told the court that it was only when he called Touray, and told him that he was coming to Banjul, that Touray advised him to go the Local Government ministry rather than to see the President.
He denied that he fabricated an allegation with the first accused, and they put it in writing to the President’s Office.
The case at that juncture was adjourned to 10th October 2011.
The allegation on count one stated that the accused persons, sometime in March 2010 in Banjul, conspired and wrote a petition letter to the Office of the President through the Secretary General against the Governor NBR, Seyfo for Upper Baddibu, NAM for Upper Baddibu, Chairman Kerewan Area Council and the National Youth Mobiliser for NBR, that they have embarked on illegal demolition and are selling stalls along the Farafenni and Kerewan highway occupied by individuals since 1992.
Count two alleged that the first accused person, Kebba E.A Touray, in the same place without authority executed a petition letter dated 7th March 2010 on behalf of the APRC militants namely, Alhagie Momodou Musa Jammeh, Ousman Masanneh Maring, Sambou Edrisa Sanyang and Lamin Kebba Jadama.
The charge sheet on count two also stated that the first accused person, Kebba E.A Touray, in March 2010 in Banjul, wrote a petition letter to the Office of the President through the Secretary General against Governor NBR, Seyfo for Upper Baddibu, NAM of Upper Baddibu, Chairman Kerewan Area Council and the National Youth Mobiliser for NBR, that they have embarked on illegal demolition and selling stalls along the Farafenni and Kerewan highway occupied by individuals since 1992.