Feb 4, 2016, 11:04 AM
There has been more testimony in the criminal trial involving Ensa Badjie, the former police chief, and two former senior military officers, Major Kuluteh Manneh and Lt. Col Mam Matarr Secka, at the high court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Amadi.
Testifying as the sixth prosecution witness, Idrish Masade, president of the Narcotics and Corrupt Free World Foundation, told the court that he knew the accused persons.
He said he could recall what happened between 29 April and May 2009 when he received a telephone call from the fifth prosecution witness, Pa Habibou Mbye, inviting him to his office at Bundung.
He adduced that PW5 introduced him to one Francis and asked Francis to repeat what he (Francis) told Mbye in his presence, adding that Francis then told Mbye that he (Francis) is a Nigerian base in Holland, and was in The Gambia to see one Sillaba Samateh.
He said, according to Francis, Sillaba told him that he had cocaine and that Pa Mbye later pleaded with him (the witness) to assist him to verify the truth of the matter, because he did not believe what Francis had narrated about what Sillaba told him, that is, that he was invited by the President from Holland in order to sell drugs for him (the President).
“I told Pa Mbye that I knew Sillaba some years ago, because of his dealings with him,” he stated, adding that he later went to see Sillaba, and then left.
“I had a call from Sillaba, telling me that I should meet him and the then IGP, Ensa Badjie. After the meeting with them, Ensa told Sillaba to take me to his house,” the witness told the court.
Idrish further told the court that Sillaba also told him that he (Idrish) would not know much about him, because he was here in The Gambia in response to the request of the President and that the then IGP, Ensa Badjie, told Sillaba that he could deal with him.
“Sillaba further repeated that he was invited by the President and Ensa Badjie, and that the top military officers were assigned to work with him.
“I would soon see the top security personnel coming to him, because they were all answerable to him, and if he called anyone of them they would answer to him within the next 30 minutes,” the witness added.
PW6 further told the court that when he asked Sillaba how could he (Idrish) assist him, Sillaba responded that he wanted him (Idrish) to find buyers for him and, in so doing, he would help the state, because the President needed money to run the state.
He testified further that Sillaba told him that he was untouchable, because he has maximum security.
“I later returned to Pa Mbye, and Pa insisted that I should continue going there so that they could have enough evidence against Sillaba.
“As I continued to go to Sillaba, Sillaba urged me to find buyers for him,” he added.
The case continues.