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More testimonies in Efry Mbye and Rongo case

Jan 6, 2012, 12:50 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The case involving Abdoulie Mbye alias Efry Mbye and Momodou Jarju alias Rongo yesterday proceeded at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

Efry Mbye and Rongo are being tried for the offence of giving false information to a public officer, making false document, uttering false documents and prohibition of conduct conducive to a breach of the peace.

Lamin J Gassama testified as the seventh prosecution witness (PW7), and told the court that he is a narcotics officer attached to the Intelligence Unit of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA).

He said he recognized the accused persons and that, in December 2010, they received a directive to investigate the activities going on in the village of Banjulinding.

PW7 added that during the investigation, he was assigned to obtain a cautionary statement from the first accused person, in the presence of an independent witness.

“I read the cautionary wording to the first accused, and he decided to write his own statement, and signed it,” he continued.

Gassama confirmed  the said cautionary statements as the one he obtained from the accused person, and the prosecutor applied to tender the statements.

However, this was objected to by the defence counsel, Sheikh Gaye, on the grounds that it was the same statements tendered by the previous prosecution witnesses, and it would not be fair to tender the same statements.

He added that the accused have two cases, one at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court and the other at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.

He argued that the said statements sought to be tendered by the prosecution was for the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.

However, the defence counsel’s objection was overruled, and the statements were tendered and marked as exhibits.

Under cross-examination, PW7 told the court that the current council of elders in Banjulinding comprises the imam of Banjulinding, the alkalo and one Mr. Koiteh.

 When asked to name all the members of the council of elders in Banjulinding,  the witness said when Eric Tundeh Janneh took the alkaloship from his father, he also inherited the council of elders in Banjulinding, and when he (Janneh) was removed from office, they appointed new people to the council of elders in Banjulinding. When Eric Tundeh was re-instated he again re-appointed the old council of elders.

 The witness told the court that during the investigation the two parties were called to the NDEA main office in Kanifing, and advised to forget their differences and unite as one family. They then selected members of the council of elders in Banjulinding from among themselves.

The case at that juncture was adjourned till 23 January 2012.