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Police Commissioner testifies in Waa Juwara and Co trial

Jun 10, 2014, 10:09 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Edward T. Sambou, the police commissioner in charge of the Finance Department at police headquarters in Banjul Monday ended his testimony as the fifth prosecution witness (PW5) in the trial involving Lamin Waa Juwara, former Lands minister and othersbefore principal magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Banjul magistrates’ court.

The other accused persons are Tamsir Onasis Conteh, a local businessman and Hamidou Jallow, a principal lands and valuation officer.

In his evidence, police commissioner Sambou informed the court that he lives in Serekunda and Tamsir Onasis Conteh, the first accused person, is a family relative.

Asked by state prosecutor MN Jobe whether anything had transpired between him and Conteh in 2012, Sambou said he gave his statement to the NIA in2012.

He added that it was in 2011 when he (Sambou) bought a 50m x 40m piece of land in Tanji village situated along the highway, from the first accused person.

Sambou further told the court that Conteh had informed him he (the accused) had “a compensation land” from the Lands office, and asked him (PW5) whether he was interested.

Sambou said he then asked the first accused to let him contact his children abroad, adding that Conteh told him the said piece of land would cost D300,000.

The witness said his children eventually sent him the money, which he paid to Conteh in 2011, but could not remember the actual month and date.

Under cross-examination, police commissioner Sambou told the court that it was correct that he had paid the said amount to the first accused person, Tamsir Onasis Conteh.

He said Conteh asked him to meet him at the lands office, in the presence of the clerk for him to sign the document, which he did.

He said the document was signed between January and February 2011, though he could not remember the exact date.

Asked by the state counsel who is in possession of the land, Sambou told the court that he is the custodian.

Hearing continues on 18 June 2014.

It would be recalled that the accused persons are standing trial on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, obtaining money by false pretence, negligence of official duties, disobedience to lawful order, making false documents and abuse of office.