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Narcotics commissioner testifies in Bun and co trial

Mar 3, 2011, 11:16 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Commissioner Essa Sarr, a narcotics officer, yesterday testified in the ongoing criminal trial of Ibrahim Bun Sanneh and four others at the High Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Amadi.

Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, former NDEA Executive Director, Karamo Bojang, former deputy chief of the agency, Ousman Sanneh, former commissioner of operations of the agency, Seedou Bojang, the agency’s accountant, and one Marie Sanneh, were indicted by state prosecutors under a 30-count charge.

The alleged offences include conspiracy to commit felony, stealing by person in public service, aiding and abetting, unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of live ammunitions, concealment and destroying of evidence, official corruption, abuse of office and committing economic crimes, obtaining money by false pretence, making document without authority, among others.

Testifying, Commissioner Sarr told the court that he is a narcotics officer, and that he knew the 1st and the 2nd accused persons, and one Alieu Jassey.

He added that the 1st and 2nd accused persons were his boss at the NDEA, whereas he is boss to Alieu Jassey.

When asked by S.H. Barkun, the deputy Director of the Public Prosecutions, whether he could recall what happened on 29 April 2009, the witness replied in the affirmative.

Sarr, who is the prosecution’s twelfth witness (PW12), said Alieu Jassey and OC Sanna Jallow came and met him in the office of the 2nd accused person, while he was sitting with him.

He said Alieu Jassey and OC Sanna Jallow told the 2nd accused person that they were just from the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, collecting the drug exhibits, and they showed them to the 2nd accused person, After observing them, the 2nd accused then objected, and said they were not the drugs he gave to the prosecutors for them to present to the court.

The second accused, the witness further adduced, instructed Alieu Jassey and Amadou Jallow to go back to the court and clarify, because it was possible for the drugs to be changed at the court level he said, adding that from then on, Karamo Bojang sent for Commissioner Kalilou Njie to also come and observe the substance.

He added that when Kalilou Njie came and observed the substance, he also said the substance was not a drug, but looked like something mixed with cement, and Ousman Sanneh also came and had a look at the said substance.

“After a while, the 1st accused came in and sent someone to call Magistrate Edrissa Mbai and, when that person came, he said the magistrate said he would not come, and that anybody who needed him should meet him in his office,” the witness told the court.

The witness added that Magistrate Mbai later sent two court officials to the office of the NDEA to answer to their call, adding that the court officials were asked whether that was the substance they handed over to Jassey and Jallow, and they replied, “Yes”.

“At that point, an argument erupted between the two parties because the 2nd accused said these were not the drugs he sent to the court,” Commissioner Sarr told the court.

PW12 further adduced that the 1st accused then invited everybody into his office, and expressed his disappointment about the two court officials with regards to the change of the drugs, and about the magistrate who was invited and never appeared.

He added that the 1st accused promised to handle the case as it should be, and sent commissioners Kalilu Njie, Ousman Sanneh, and Karamo Bojang, Amadou Jallow and Alieu Jassey and the two court officials to go to Magistrate Edrissa Mbai, to discuss matters relating to the substance that was brought from the court by Alieu Jassey and Amadou Jallow.

“As this people left, I also left for my office,” he concluded.

The case was adjourned to 3 March 2011.