Nov 21, 2019, 12:14 PM
Police Officer Taken To Task
Bakary Jibba, a police officer, who was a prosecution witness against one Demba Ceesay and Ali Khan, was challenged by Lawyer Kebba Sanyang by way of cross-examination.
When it was put to the witness that on 8th August 2009, he testified that he was informed that there were some people at Dunya Motel, who were involved in a drug related matter, he answered in the positive and further said that he also visited the motel.
On what his findings were, he said, there were three people in a room he visited at the said motel and introduced himself to them.
He stated the he conducted a search on the persons he found in the room, and found out that a small bottle containing Mercury water was thrown behind by a Lebanese man.
He testified that Demba Ceesay was searched and they found $4000 and D2500 with him.
Defence Counsel Sanyang put it to him that he did not mention that he found the Gambian currency on Demba Ceesay, and that he did not speak the truth.
Defence Counsel again put it to the witness that he found D3000 on Demba Ceesay and not D2500.
He maintained it was D2500 and that he handed it to the CID.
On whether he found the drugs in the rooms, he answered in the negative.
Lawyer Sanyang put it to him that even though he found no drugs with the accused persons, he had arrested them and took them to the Police Station.
The witness answered in the positive.
He was asked why he arrested a peaceful, law-abiding Gambians conducting a lawful business, he said, he is a police officer and narcotic officer. He added that when he got to a place and found people with a substance he does not know, he has the powers to arrest them and bring them to the authority which he did.
When it was put to him that he has abused his powers by arresting the accused persons and the Lebanese man, and failed to produce the monies he arrested them with, and that he only tendered $2000, Demba Ceesay insisted that the money was more than that.
Inspector Fadera at this juncture, objected to the question, stating that it was incriminating and would tarnish the image of the witness.
Lawyer Sanyang argued that the objection was bogus and lacked merit and would be accordingly dismissed. He cited some authorities to support his argument.
He challenged that the fact in issue before the court related to the $4000, and that the question was relevant.
Inspector Fadera referred the court to Section 203 (1) of the Evidence Act and said the question was not relevant.
But magistrate Mbacke, in his ruling, said the question was relevant and asked the witness to answer it.
The witness had confirmed that he did not know what the accused persons were charged with and that there was no complainant in the case. He also added that no one had reported the accused persons to the police and there was no record of it in the diary.