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Jailed ex-NDEA head testifies in former deputy’s case

Nov 1, 2012, 9:44 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The jailed former Executive Director of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, yesterday testified as the second defence witness (DW2) in the ongoing trial involving Karamo Bojang at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe.

The accused, Karamo Bojang, former deputy director of the NDEA, was charged theft and abuse of office. He was alleged to have stolen 67 pallets of cocaine, charges he had since denied.

Bun Sanneh told the court that he was the executive director of the NDEA, and he was currently serving his prison term at the Mile 2 State Central Prisons.

He said he recognised the accused person, as he was working under him at the NDEA between 2005 and 2009.

“The accused person was my deputy at that time and his duties were to work closely with the administration, as well as the exhibit keeper, Alieu Jasseh,” said Bun Sanneh.

‘’The role of the exhibit keeper is to keep the hard drugs in the safe which was stationed in the accused person’s office, but the keys to the safe were being kept by Alieu Jasseh, an exhibit keeper, so that both the accused person and the exhibit keeper will not have access to this hard drugs where they are being kept,” he told the court.

“I was aware that the accused person was charged with stealing 67 pallets of cocaine which was found in the stomach of one Samuel Okafu, a Nigerian national,” he said.

When asked by the defence counsel, S.M. Tambedou, what happened to those drugs found in the stomach of Samuel Okafu, Bun Sanneh said that those drugs had been destroyed at the recent drug destruction exercise held at the Denton Bridge in Banjul.

He said normally in drug destruction exercises, the Interior Minister always used to be present and some senior members of the government circles, as well as senior members of NDEA including himself, Karamo Bojang, Kalilu Njie, Mbye Njie, Director of Operations and Alieu Jasseh.

Bun Sanneh said when he reached the destruction site together with his chairman, they found Karamo Bojang, Kalilu Njie, Mbye Njie,  Essa Sarr and Alieu Jasseh assembled at the destruction site to check whether nothing was missing from the hard drugs.

“During this destruction exercise, I saw Kalilu Njie pick up a pallet of cocaine and there was blood stain on it and the accused person told him that those were among the pallets found in the stomach of Samuel Okafu in the presence of all the officials of the NDEA,’’ he told the court.

He added that among the officers he mentioned in the court, Mbye Njie was the only officer who met them in Mile 2 Central Prisons.

When counsel asked why he came to the Mile 2 Prisons, Bun Sanneh told the court that Mbye Njie came to Mile 2 Prisons together with Saikou-Ba Jammeh, Momodou S. Baldeh, to ask the accused person about those drugs and the accused person told him that those drugs had been destroyed, and he reminded him about the pallets Kalilu Njie picked up during the destruction of the drugs.

He added that the accused person wrote his own statement in their presence, and he indicated the same in his statement.

Bun Sanneh further stated that Mbye Njie in turn told the accused person that he had already told the director general that those drugs had been destroyed.

“I think this was a witch-hunt,” he said.

He added that under the laws of The Gambia, 67 Pallets of cocaine alleged to have been found in the stomach of Samuel Okafu was to be classified as found properties.

The case was adjourned to 7 November 2012, for cross-examination.