Jul 31, 2008, 6:21 AM
Alkalo Touray was continuing his defence testimony in the conspiracy and disobedience to lawful order case involving him and the Caliph General of Darsilameh Sangajor, Muhideen Hydara, before Magistrate Omar Cham of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court.
When the case was called, Chief Sub-inspector E Sarr announced his appearance for the IGP while senior defence counsel AB Gaye announced his appearance for the accused persons together with senior counsel Darboe and LK Mboge.
Senior Counsel AB Gaye told the court that the matter was for continuation of defence and they were ready to proceed.
Continuing his evidence-in-chief, the 2nd accused, Buyeh Touray, said he was not aware that Imam Fatty and the Supreme Islamic Council “have any power to make laws in The Gambia that people should pray on a particular day”.
He said he was not also aware of any law in The Gambia, “which stipulates a day that people should perform Idul Fitr”.
He said the Islamic religion states that people should pray Idul Fitr after citing the moon and in their case they cited the moon on Monday and prayed on Tuesday.
Further testifying, Buyeh Touray said he knew the badge messenger sent to them by the chief, named Seedy Gibba.
He said the badge messenger came with a message from the chief telling him that the chief said he heard that the people of Darsilameh Sangajor did not pray on Monday, and he (Buyeh) should accompanied him to the imam of the village to tell him that they should not pray on Tuesday.
They went to the imam, Malaine Hydara (who is now deceased) and the late imam referred them to Talibeh Hydara, he said.
The late Imam apart from being an imam in the village is also a Sherrif and a marabout, and when Malaine was alive, the Caliph General of Darsilameh was Muhideen Hydara.
They went to see Talibeh as directed by the late Imam Malaine, and Seedy related the message from the chief to Talibeh, he added.
Talibeh then told him that he heard Imam Fatty over the radio saying those in the provinces were excluded from it, he further told the court.
Talibeh then asked the badge messenger to give him the chief’s number, but the messenger told him that he did not have the chief’s phone number.
Talibeh said he wanted to call the chief as he heard Imam Fatty over the radio saying that “those in the provinces are excluded from it, and they are in the provinces”.
He said Seedy told them that he would find out if they were involved or not, so that they could know.
The badge messenger did not return to tell them if they were included or not, the alkalo Touray told the court.
He said they waited from 10 to 11am the next day, which was when they went to pray Idul Fitr, adding that if they had not prayed on Tuesday, they would not be able to perform their religious rites.
He said he did not hear any announcement on the radio made by Imam Fatty regarding Idul Fitr.
He said that when they prayed on Tuesday, they prayed to God and not to Imam Fatty.
He said that when it comes to the issue of religion in Darsilameh Sangajor, the imam is the head of the religion, adding that the imam at that time was Malaine Hydara, who is now deceased.
The case continues today.