Jan 19, 2009, 5:52 AM
Alhagie Bakary Jammeh, who told the court that he acted as a mediator between the accused person, Mbye Njie, and the family of Sarjo Jallow, Friday testified at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Alagbe.
Mbye Njie, who was the former NDEA director of operations, is standing trial at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge including official corruption and abuse of office.
He told the court that he knew the accused person a long time ago, and that he also knew Saikou-Ba Jammeh and Sheriff Sanyang for a long time.
He added that he also knew Karl Bah, who came to his house in the presence of one Lamin Camara, adding that between April and July 2011, he was in his house when Karl Bah came and told him to help secure bail for Sarjo Jallow, who was a drugs suspect.
He said Karl Bah told him that he wanted to send him to the accused person, Saikou-Ba Jammeh and Sheriff Sangyang, further stating that Karl Bah gave him D5,000 and asked him to take D1,000 and give D4,000 to the above-mentioned people.
Mr. Jammeh told the court that upon his arrival at the NDEA main office in Banjul, he went to Saikou-Ba Jammeh’s office and told him that he was sent by Karl Bah to bail SarJo Jallow.
However, Saikou-Ba asked him to go and meet his bosses upstairs, as he had no power to release anybody on bail.
“I then went upstairs to meet the accused person and Sheriff Sanyang. I met Sheriff Sanyang in his office and told him that I was sent by Karl Bah to give D4,000; but Karl Bah says I should give you D6,000 instead of D4,000, because he did not have enough money, but promised to settle the balance,” the witness said.
He said a few minutes later, the accused person came to Sheriff and Sheriff called Saikou-Ba Jammeh to ask whether the suspect was in their custody, and Saikou-Ba told him that there was one Sarjo Jallow in the cell.
The accused then asked him to go and give the D4,000 to Saikou-Ba for safe-keeping, but before he left for Banjul, he asked Karl Bah to call Saikou-Ba Jammeh in his presence, and he gave him the D4,000 purposely for Sarjo Jallow to be released on bail, and that they released Sarjo Jallow on bail that very day.
He added that one week later, the uncle of Sarjo Jallow, Kekuta Jarra and Sarjo Jallow’s sister, called him to go to Banjul NDEA, but he told them that he did not have fare to go and they asked him to take credit somewhere, and they would refund him when he reached at Banjul.
“Upon my arrival at Banjul NDEA, Sarjo’s sister told me that we have D15,000 to settle this case, if I can help them, and the money was in a nylon bag. I wanted to give the money to Saikou-Ba Jammeh, but he said again he cannot hold the money, and let me go upstairs to meet his bosses again,” the witness further told the court.
“I went to meet Sheriff and the accused person, and Sheriff asked everybody to go out of his office, except me. I handed over the D15,000 to him. Before I left, Sheriff asked me to wait for the accused person, and he gave the money to him,” he added.
After Sheriff gave the money to the accused person, he insisted that this case could not be finished with D15,000, but that they needed to pay D50,000.
“I then communicated with the relatives of Sarjo Jallow who were waiting outside Sheriff’s office at the time, and the family happened to agree as they seriously wanted Sarjo to be free from the case,” he said.
The family said they could not pay the money now, but the uncle agreed to pay, and the accused said he would give him 3 months to settle otherwise he would forward the matter to the court for prosecution, he said
Under cross-examination, the witness said he is 60 years old and that he is a petty trader at Serekunda Market.
He added that the D4,000 was purposely for Sarjo Jallow to be released on bail, and he admitted that Karl Bah gave him D4,000 for the accused person to release Sarjo on bail.
He admitted that it was true that Karl Bah spoke to the above-mentioned people before he left his house for Banjul NDEA office.
Asked who received the said D4,000 from him, Mr. Jammeh told the court that when he first came he met Saikou-Ba Jammeh, and he told him to go and meet his bosses as he has no power to bail anybody.
“The accused person and Sheriff Sanynag asked me to give the D4,000 to Saikou-Ba Jammeh, and through their instruction Saikou-Ba released Sarjo Jallow from the cell,” he said.
When it was put to him that he (Alhagie Bakary Jammeh) was arrested by one NDEA officer called Njack in connection with the case, he said that never happened.
The case was adjourned to 30 August 2012, for further hearing.