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Observer editor Jobe cross-examined

Dec 17, 2013, 9:41 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Alhagie Jobe, the deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Observer newspaper, was on 12 December 2013 crossed-examined in the trial involving him and one Mbye Bittaye, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.

Alhagie Jobe was arraigned on a five-count charge of making an act with seditious intention, seditious publication, and possession of seditious publication, giving false information to a public servant, and reckless and negligent, while Mbye Bittaye was arraigned on a single count of making preparation to do an act with seditious intention.

Responding to questions under cross-examination, Editor Jobe told the court that in November 2001, he was a freelance under the management of Sheriff Bojang.

He said he was promoted to a staff reporter under the management of Dr Saja Taal, and later to a senior staff reporter, and from there, he was attached to State House as the Observer reporter.

Jobe added that he rose to the position of news editor, sub-editor and to deputy editor-in-chief, adding that Pa Malick Faye came to the Observer newspaper before him.

“Pa Malick Faye was the MD, while I was the deputy editor-in-chief, and as deputy editor-in-chief, I was editing news items and sending reporters to cover events. The MD is the editor-in-chief and he gives the final approvals,” said editor Jobe.

Still testifying under cross-examination, Jobe said all the reporters reported to him, while he was answerable to the MD.

“After collecting the news items, I put them on my laptop and edit them. I later take them to the news-room for the proofreaders to go through, and the MD will be later called for vetting and to give final approval for the stories he wants,” Jobe added.

“By virtue of my office, I knew all the reporters; and regarding the issue of being a signatory to the account, I made it very clear to the MD that I am a journalist and not an accountant, but he insisted that I should be a signatory to the account,” continued editor Jobe.

He said all he knew about the former MD, Pa Malick Faye, was that he was not in town since his dismissal, adding that he (Jobe) was arrested on 8 February 2013.

Jobe stated that he actually did not know where Ousainou Dumbuya was, because he was brought to the newspaper by Pa Malick Faye.

“I know that Dumbuya was a reporter, but he was not regular because he dealt with the MD, and he never submitted his articles to me. He usually brought them to the MD, and I cannot say the number of articles he had edited for Ousainou Dumbuya,” Jobe further told the court.

He said exhibit G was among the articles brought by Ousainou Dumbuya.

The case continues today.