Jan 16, 2009, 6:14 AM
Kalilu Njie, the deputy director of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), Monday testified as the second prosecution witness in the trial of Karamo Bojang, the former deputy director NDEA, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.
Karamo Bojang is being tried on a two-count charge of stealing and abuse of office.
Testifying, Kalilu Njie told the court that he is the deputy director of the NDEA, and is attached to the main office at Kairaba Avenue.
He said he knew the accused person as the former deputy director of NDEA.
“In May 2006, when Mbye Njie was the assistant station officer at the Serekunda Police Station he (Mbye Njie) was assigned by the accused person, Karamo Bojang, to be part of the investigation into the case of one Samuel Okafu , a Nigerian national resident in Ebo-town,” he said.
The investigation was jointly mounted by CID and NDEA officers, and the body of Samuel Okafu was later transported to the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul for a postmortem.
He added that Mbye Njie was present during the postmortem, and 67 pellets of cocaine was recovered from the stomach of the late Samuel Okafu.
He further revealed that the 67 pellets of cocaine were later handed over to the accused person, because the accused was the exhibits keeper for hard drugs, while soft drugs like cannabis were given to Alieu Jasseh who used to be the exhibits keeper.
The witness further told the court that “in 2010, the present Director of NDEA Benedict Jammeh had ordered further investigation into the matter of the late Samuel Okafu, adding that Mbye Njie was asked to go to Mile 2 Central Prison to obtain a statement from the accused person.
“The said statement was brought to my office. I went through it, and I saw a portion where the accused person indicated that the drugs were destroyed at the last drugs destruction exercise.” He said he also made a witness statement to that effect.
The procedures for the destruction of drugs, according to Kalilu Njie, is that the agency responsible would write a letter to the Master of the High Court to request that all the exhibits that were dealt with by the courts be forwarded to the agency.
Such destruction of drugs is normally done on 26 June, which coincides with World No Drugs Day, and that the agency would write to personalities to attend the destruction exercise.
Njie pointed out that the exhibits keeper would transport the drugs to the venue for destruction before the personalities would arrive at the venue.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel Sherriff Tambedou, the witness told the court that he was present in all the exercises for the destruction of drugs in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
When asked whether the accused person, Bun Sanneh, former head of NDEA and Ousman Sanneh, the former commissioner of operations, were present at the last destruction of drugs, the witness said he could not remember whether they attended.
He also denied saying that Mbye Njie was present at the drugs destruction exercises held in 2006 and 2007.
The case was subsequently adjourned till 30th May 2011.