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NIA, NDEA officers trial continues

Dec 9, 2010, 1:16 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The criminal trial involving Lamin Darboe, a senior NIA operative, Edrisa Jobe, former head of the Special Operation Unit at the NIA, and Ebrima Drammeh, NDEA Commissioner Kanifing Division, continued yesterday at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

The trio are being tried on two counts of unlawful wounding with intent to do grievous harm and conspiracy, charges they have denied.

They were alleged to have, sometime in May 2009, at the NIA head office in Banjul, conspired among themselves to cause physical injury to the persons of Lamin Kabou and Lamin Sima.

It was further alleged that, in May 2009 at the NIA head office in Banjul, with intent to do some grievous harm to Lamin Kabou, they unlawfully wounded Lamin Kabou by beating him with fist blows, an electric cable and metals. 

Testifying under cross-examination, Tijan Ndure, the first prosecution witness, told the court that he could remember telling the court that on 30th May 2009, one Abdoulie Sanneh came to his house regarding the drugs business, but he told him that he could not involved himself in drug dealing.

“I could also remember telling the court that I am a marabout, and my role was to pray for the people, and the reason why I decided to meet Abdoulie Sanneh and the other two gentlemen was to inform the narcotics officers,” he told the court, adding that it did not mean that he agreed to what Abdoulie Sanneh told him in his house.

When asked by defence counsel L Farage, why he did not stay in the car at the time of the discussion, the witness in reply told the court that it was not his car that was why he decided to go out and watch out, after informing the narcotics officers to effect the arrests.

Asked whether he ever appeared before the High court of the Gambia to answer to any charge against him, Ndure replied in the affirmative, but added that was a separate issue, which had nothing to do with the case.

He added that the charge against him then was conspiracy and being in possession of illicit drugs sometime in May 2009, but it did not specifically mean that the drugs were discovered in his house.

He admitted under cross-examination that he was detained at the Brikama Police Station, but said it was for less than an hour, and that he did not make any statement at the police station.

“After my release, I was escorted to my house before taking me to the NIA headquarters in Banjul,” Ndure adduced.

“At the NIA headquarters, I met the 1st accused Lamina Darboe, Sahiou Ceesay, Alieu Hydara and one Omar Jammeh.

“I was in their custody for 28th days, and later brought to their conference hall, where I met Edrisa Jobe, the 2rd accused, and Ebrima Drammeh, the 3th accused person, who jointly tied my legs and my hands and stripped me naked.”

Ndure further told the Court: “I was beaten very seriously, until I sustained some injuries. I was later escorted to the hospital by one Lamin Manneh, and a driver, one Mr. Sowe.”

The case was at that juncture adjourned until 15th December 2010.