Feb 11, 2013, 12:08 PM
One Edrissa Jaiteh, one of the suspects in the NDEA officers’ murder trial, yesterday opened his defence at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.
Edrissa Jaiteh, an NDEA volunteer, was arraigned alongside one Edrissa Jarju, an officer of the agency, for allegedly causing the death of one Alpha Omar Jobe, who was reportedly detained at the Manjai Police Station, after being arrested for suspected sale of cannabis.
Jaiteh told the court that he was a driver working with the NDEA as a volunteer, and he was living at Bakoteh, adding that he knew the 1st accused, Edrissa Jarju, since 2010.
The accused denied inflicting any torture on the late Alpha Omar Jobe.
“We did not beat the deceased,” he said, adding that on 10 December 2011, he reported to the Manjai Kunda Police Station, and found the 1st accused there and one Sonko Jatta.
The 1st accused said he had information that the late Alpah Omar Jobe was selling cannabis, as a result, they where assigned to go and effect arrest on him, he stated.
“Upon our arrival, we found the deceased walking out of the compound,” the accused told the court in his defence.
Designated as defence witness two (DW2), Jaiteh said the 1st accused pulled out his warrant and identified himself as an NDEA officer, and told the deceased that they wanted to conduct a search on him.
He added that in doing so, a wrap of cannabis was found in his possession, and they proceeded to the room of the deceased where a further search was conducted, and they recovered some seeds of cannabis and two wraps of cannabis.
“Following those developments, the 1st accused told him to come with them to the station, but the deceased refused to comply with the instruction of the 1st accused,” he said.
“At that juncture, I intervened and held the deceased by his hand and the 1st accused also held the deceased by one of his hands. The brother of the deceased appeared and informed us that the deceased was an asthmatic patient,” said the accused person.
The brother later told them to go and allow the deceased to follow them, he said, adding that they led the deceased to the Manjai Kunda Police Station where the 1st accused recorded his statement and put him in the cell.
The accused revealed that when he went out and came back, he asked the 1st accused about the deceased, and the 1st accused informed him that he had released the deceased on bail.
DW2 said: “I went home until the next day when I came to work, and a week later, I received a phone call that there was a problem at Manjai Kunda Police Station, and I was informed that I was needed at the said police station.”
“Upon my arrival, Landing Bojang told me to write my statement, which I did, and from there, I was taken to Kotu Police Station where I was detained for three days and later transferred to the Kairaba Police Station where I was equally detained for 11 days,” he testified.
Subsequently, he was taken to court, adding that they never subjected the deceased to any form of torture as alleged by PW1, Abdoulie Jallow, and they did not collect any money from the deceased.