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Mbye Njie’s case progresses

Sep 3, 2012, 10:59 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The case involving Mbye Njie, former director of operations at the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDEA, Friday continued at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The hearing continued with the cross-examination of Alhagie Bakary Jammeh, who was said to be a mediator between the accused person and the family of one Sarjo Jallow.

Mbye Njie is being tried on a four-count charge, which included official corruption and abuse of office.

Under cross-examination, Mr. Jammeh told the court that it was not correct that he was a surety to anybody prior to this case, except to one Muhammed Sillah, whose brother he knew for long.

Asked to tell the court the type of offence the said Muhammed Sillah was charged with, Jammeh said he could not remember the case because it was a long time ago.

Responding to another question from the defence counsel, as to whether to bail somebody was not a new thing to him, the witness told the court that he had never bailed anybody, apart from Muhammed Sillah.

Told that he was notorious for bailing people, Mr. Jammeh said that was not true.

I have never bailed anybody, apart from Muhammed Sillah, which I want to make clear to this court,” he said.

Asked why then Sarjo Jallow’s family contacted him to help them to bail Sarjo Jallow, who was in custody, Mr Jammeh said he told the court that it was Karl Bah who came to his house to help him to take the D4,000 to the accused person, because he (Bah) had a funeral; and that was why he (Jammeh) got involved in the bail process.

He added that the reason for accepting to take the said money to the accused person was that he knew Karl Bah for a long time, and also the fact that Bah told him that he had a funeral and could not make it; and so he (Jammeh) volunteered to help them.

When it was put to him that he had been paid D1,000 to arrange the bail process for Sarjo Jallow, Mr. Jammeh denied being paid by Bah, but said, instead what he received was a gift.

He admitted that Karl Bah told him that he would send him to the accused person, Sheriff Sanyang and Saikou-Ba Jammeh, and that Bah also told him he needed to give them D6,000 , but instead he did not have the whole sum of D6,000, but only had D4,000.

He further told the court that Karl Bah is his in-law, as he married his niece and that was also a contributing factor why he accepted to help him.

He admitted that the D4,000 was given to Saikou-Ba Jammeh (PW1), based on the instructions of the accused person.

I did not know what he did with the money, but I was asked by the accused person to hand over the said money to Saikou-Ba Jammeh, which I did,” he added.

He said it was correct that the family of Sarjo Jallow were asked to go out by the officer commanding, Sheriff Sanyang, who is currently on a mission in Liberia.

Mr Jammeh further adduced that after asking the family to go out of the office, he told him before he handed over the money to him to call the accused person first.

He added that when the accused came to Sheriff Sanyang’s office, he handed over the said money to the accused person, and the accused person in turn handed over the money to Sheriff Sanyang for safe keeping.

When asked by the defence counsel whether he was called upon at the NDEA to give a statement regarding the case, Mr. Jammeh admitted that he was called upon to give a statement at the NDEA’s Holgam office in Kanifing, together with the family of Sarjo Jallow.

At that juncture, the defense counsel applied to the court for the witness’ statement to be produced in court for the purpose of cross-examination.

However, after DW2’s statement was produced in court by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) S.H. Barkun, defence counsel who applied to tender it, later withdrew his application.

The case was then adjourned to 4 and 5 September 2012.