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Ombudsman’s office subpoenaed in former GRTS staff case

Aug 25, 2011, 2:16 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Magistrate Ma-Nyima Bojang of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday ordered that a subpoena be issued to any senior officer or representative of the office of the Ombudsman, to come and give evidence in the false information case involving Dodou Sanneh, former GRTS reporter.

The magistrate also ordered GRTS to produce the accused person’s personal file, including the promotion letter, which reportedly came after a suspension letter.

The court’s order came following a request made by the accused person, Dodou Sanneh, after the testimony of the second defence witness, Nyima Drammeh.

In her testimony, Ms Drammeh told the court that she resides in Bundung.

She told the court that it was during the 2006 presidential election campaign that her uncle (the accused person) was assigned to cover the opposition on the campaign trail.

She adduced that it was on a Thursday evening that a car came to their compound gate, and she and the defendant’s wife opened the door.

“My aunt then asked the accused why he was at home during that time, as he was assigned for coverage,” said the witness, adding that the accused replied that he was asked to come back.

“The following day, whilst the accused was taking bath, his phone rang and I answered the call. The caller told me that he was asking for Dodou Sanneh,” Drammeh continued.

She added that the caller then identified himself to her as Kebba Dibba, and asked her to inform her uncle (the accused) to pass by his compound, which she did.

“The accused then left till after 6 o’clock, and he was nowhere to be seen. His wife then called his phone number, but could not get through,” she said.

The accused person’s brother later came to the house, and he was directed to Kebba Dibba’s residence.

According the witness, Kebba told them that he did not know the defendant’s whereabouts, adding that, the next morning, Kebba Dibba told them to go the GRTS office.

“On arrival at the office, it was confirmed to us that the accused was arrested,” said the witness, stating that the accused was detained for a week.

The accused was released after seven days, and he came home, the witness told the court.

She went on to say that, a few days later, a GRTS vehicle with some people came to their compound, and gave her a letter, in the absence of the accused person.

“On my uncle’s arrival, he asked me to return the letter, which I did,” the witness stated, adding that on arrival at GRTS office, she handed the letter to Ebrima Baldeh.

Defence witness further indicated that she personally gave it to Ebrima Baldeh, and informed him that it was submitted to her by people on board a GRTS a vehicle, which she could not recognize, and that she was asked by his uncle, Dodou Sanneh, the accused person, to return it to GRTS. 

Still on her evidence-in-chief, the witness informed the court that, after some days, Kebba Dibba came with two people to their house, and adviced the defendant to resume work. 

She revealed that her grand-father also convinced the accused to go back to work, which he accepted to do.

“On a Monday, the accused went to work, but on my return from the market, I found him sitting at home,” the defence witness told the court, noting that she approached the accused to ask him why he was at home at that time.

In response, the accused told her that GRTS DG, Momodou Sanyang, told him to go on leave for two days.

She further indicated that, after the leave, the accused worked for two weeks, and that it was on another Monday when she came home and again found the accused person at the house.

Drammeh asserted that when she asked the accused why he was at home at that time, the accused started to shed tears, and informed her that his service was terminated.

She testified that, the next day, the accused went to his village, adding that whilst he was there, two men came to the compound and requested for the documents of the accused person.

According to the witness, when the wife of the defendants’ wanted to call the accused to inform him, the men told her that it was not necessary.

“The unidentified men shouted at my aunt insisting that they must go with his papers,” the witness told the court, adding that she then convinced the accused person’s wife to produce the documents, which she did.

“They went away with the accused person’s papers, including his passport,” the witness narrated.

“When we contacted the accused about the incident, he told us that he would come back the next day,” the witness continued.

The case was then adjourned to 5th September 2011.