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More testimonies in Ex- NDEA Director’s case

Sep 6, 2012, 9:26 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

More witnesses continued to testify in the ongoing trial involving Mbye Njie, former director of operations at the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe.

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

Yesterday saw the testimony of the third prosecution witness (PW3), Momodou Mumina Jallow, who is said to be the father of Sarjo Jallow.

He told the court that he resides in Banjul and that he recognized the accused person, and as well knew Sarjo Jallow and Assanatou Jallow.

“I was called by Assanatou Jallow, the sister of Sarjo Jallow, informing me that Sarjo had been held at the NDEA main office in Banjul, and we wanted to arrange his bail, and asked if I can help. I told her that I cannot, because I have bailed somebody and the person had absconded, and I was later arrested,” he said.

Assanatou called him back informing him that they had discussed with somebody who wanted to help them to finish with the case, he added.

They later met at the Banjul NDEA office to facilitate his bail and after bailing him, Bakary Jammeh (PW2) told them that the accused person said they needed to pay something before going home.

He added that the accused person asked Bakary Jammeh to asked them how much they had in hand to bail him, and they told him that they had only D5,000, which they gave to Jammeh and he gave Saikou-Ba Jammeh the D4,000 under the instructions of the accused person.

Saikou-Ba went with the money upstairs together with Sarjo’s uncle to meet Sheriff Sanyang, officer commanding NDEA Banjul station and they discussed with Sheriff Sanyang about the case.

Mr Jallow added that before they finished discussing with Sheriff, the accused person came in and asked all the family members of Sarjo to go out of the office, which they did, and they discussed with Alhagie Bakary Jammeh (PW2).

After discussing with Bakary Jammeh, he (Jammeh) came downstairs and informed them that they discussed with the accused person for a payment of D50,000 if they wanted the case to be settled out of court, he told the court.

“We told Alhagie Bakary Jammeh that we did not have that amount in hand, but only have D15,000 and we handed over the money to Alhagie Bakary Jammeh who in turn handed over the said money to the accused person,” he continued.

The witness further said that Bakary Jammeh told him that the accused person accepted the D15,000, and had decided to give them time to pay the outstanding balance of D35,000 within three months, which they agreed to do.

He said after three months, Saikou-Ba Jammeh was moved, and one Mboob took over, who called Assanatou and asked her about Sarjo Jallow, adding that they ended up paying the outstanding balance of D35,000 and the accused told them that the matter would be finished and they could just go home.

Under cross-examination, Jallow told the court that it was correct that Sarjo is his son, and that he was called by the accused person from Basse to come and answer.

Counsel put it to him that Sarjo came alone from Basse to Banjul because he (Sarjo) had bailed somebody and the person absconded, but the witness maintained that he was called by the accused person to come answer to him.

Responding to another question from the defence counsel as to whether Sarjo was seriously sick while in custody, the witness said that was not correct because he used to take his lunch every day.

He added that the money was given to Saikou-Ba based on the instructions of the accused person, but he could not ascertain what he did with the said money.

He denied that Saikou-Ba took the money upstairs alone, but instead they went together with him to hand over the money to the accused person, before asking the family members of Sarjo to go out of the office.

The case was adjourned till 10 and 11 September 2012, for continuation of cross-examination.