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Revelation in Pa Mbye, Foday Barry case

Nov 26, 2012, 10:07 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe Thursday heard new revelations, in the case involving Pa Habibou Mbye, former crime management coordinator at the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) and Alh Foday Barry, former director of Intelligence and Investigation at the same institution.

The two former senior members of the NDEA are standing trial on a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, stealing, making false documents and uttering false documents.

One Ousman Drammeh has testified in court that sometime in 2011, he went to the hotel room of Robert Yaw Danquah (who was at one time an inmate at Mile 2 Central Prison) in order for Danquah to give him the money for a laptop he sold to him for D12,000.

After a while, they heard a knock on the door, and Danquah later opened the door and saw some men who identified themselves as NDEA officers, and that they were there to arrest him.

Drammeh added that the NDEA officers announced they would like to conduct a search in Danquah’s room in their presence.

During the course of searching, he went on, the officers discovered two bags, and one was containing D50 denomination notes while the other contained D100 denomination notes.

 He said they were later taken to the Holgam office of the NDEA with the money and, upon their arrival, they were escorted directly to the office of Foday Barry, the 1st accused person, where they placed the money together with his bag containing the D12,000.

 They were later asked to write statements, he said.

Drammeh further told the court that he was detained at Holgam for a month, before being released on bail for one day. He said when he went back to report to Holgam, he made a request for his money. He added Barry asked him which money, and he responded that it was the one which was contained in a black bag.

The witness said Barry searched his cupboard, and found the said black bag, but insisted that the bag belonged to Danquah and not him (Drammeh).

According to the witness, he then told Barry not to open the bag so that he (Drammeh) could name the things that were contained in the said bag.

Drammeh said the items he named were found in the bag, except the D12,000, and that Barry told him there was no money found in that bag, only papers belonging to Danquah and not him (the witness).

At this point, he continued, Danquah was called to confirm whether he gave the said sum of money to Drammeh, and that Danquah confirmed doing so. However, Barry told him that he had to wait until after the investigation, the witness told the court.

He said Danquah advised him (the witness) to forget about the money, but he insisted that he would not forget his money, and there was an argument between them.

Barry then told him that he was rude, and later detained him for five days, Drammeh further told the court. He said he was later released, and he went back to Holgam to get his money, but nothing happened.

“Still now, I did not get my money,” said Drammeh.

Mr. Drammeh further informed the court that he was later asked by Danquah to ask Barry if he (Drammeh) could bail him, but Barry said unless he talked to Danquah to produce the sum of €200,000 and Danquah said he could not get that sum.

“My bag and my money are still with them,” testified the witness.

Asked by the prosecuting officer whether he gave a statement, the witness said he gave a statement to the intelligence officers (NIA).

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Uzuma Achibue, the witness told the court that he gave two statements, one at NIA headquarters and at the Holgam office of the NDEA.

At this juncture, the defence counsel applied for both statements to be provided to him for the purpose of cross examination.

Meanwhile, in his testimony, Drammeh also told the court that, at the time of their arrest, the accused persons were not present, adding that his money was in the hands of one Gassama, at the time they were taking them to the NDEA office at Holgam.

Hearing continues on 27 November 2012.