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NAPSA executive members trial progresses

May 13, 2011, 2:34 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The trial of the executive members of the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA) continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

Babucarr Jallow, Denis T Gomez and Jarga Jallow, all executive members of NAPSA are being tried on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony , forgery and uttering false documents.

Testifying as the second prosecution witness, Isatou Sanneh, a resident of Latrikunda German in the Kanifing Municipality, told the court that she recognized the accused persons as the executive members of NAPSA.

She pointed out that sometime this year, executive members of NAPSA including herself drew a congress budget submitted to the Office of the President for support.

She told the court that the association later received a letter from State House indicating that the amount indicated in the budget was too high, and therefore they requested to see the pro-forma invoice.

According to her, the executive members went to different shops at Serekunda Market, including Victoria Shop, together with one Sulayman Jawo, the association’s social secretary.

“We went to Victoria Shop at Serekunda, we appealed to him to help us with a pro-forma invoice, for which he asked us to come back the following day,” she told the court.

She added that, on the following day, “we went there and Abdoulie Jallow gave us a pro-forma invoice, and we took it to NAPSA, where we calculated the price. We wrote the grand total in words and we made a mistake on the pro-forma invoice, and so we decided to put tip-pex on it.”

When asked by the prosecuting officer, Sgt Manga, who were the people that were present when the tip-pex was put on the invoice, the witness in reply said herself and the second accused person, Jarga E. Gaye, put the tip-pex on the invoice.

She said that after realising their mistake, they realized that the Office of the President was a highly respected office to submit the document with the tip-pex to.

Still testifying, the witness told the court that they decided to look for another pro-forma invoice, and transferred all the figures to the new pro-forma invoice exactly.

This, she said, was the agreement among the executive of NAPSA, adding that after preparing it, she signed as the customer and the other executive members decided to sign as the manager of Victoria Shop.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Cooker, the witness told the court: “We did not receive any monies from anybody, and we did not want to submit the pro-forma invoice to State House with tip-pex on it.”

“It was very difficult for us to have original one, because the shopkeepers thought that we were trying to investigate their business for other reasons,” she told the court under cross-examination.

She further told the court that what was on the original invoice was what was exactly on the one said to be altered by the accused persons.

She said that D30,195 was the correct figure, but instead it was D30,199, which was a minor difference.

The case was adjourned to 23 May 2011 for continuation.