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State witness cross-examined in Njogu Bah and Co trial

Sep 2, 2013, 9:46 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Friday, 30 August 2013, Issue)

A state witness was yesterday cross-examined in the trial involving ex-Justice Minister Lamin AMS Jobarteh, ex-Solicitor General Pa Harry Jammeh, and ex-Secretary General and Head of Civil service and Presidential Affairs Minister Dr Njogu L Bah.

The three were arraigned on a three-count charge which included conspiracy to carry out a lawful purpose by an unlawful means, giving false information to a public officer, and abuse of office; charges they had denied.

Detective Inspector Abdoulie Sowe earlier gave testimony in the said trial as the state second prosecution witness, before Justice Emmanuel Nkea of the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Responding to questions by the defence counsel, L.K. Mboge, detective Sowe said: “I did not know the exact date when the 3rd accused was arrested. I obtained his statement in June 2013, at a panel which constituted four police officers of the CIU, 8 NIA officers and 1 NDEA officer.”

He added that he did not obtain a voluntary statement from the 3rd accused, and he did not know whether any member of the panel obtained a voluntary statement from the 3rd accused.

“I cannot remember any charge that was preferred against the 3rd accused. I did not know the duration of the detention of the 3rd accused, and I did not know whether the 3rd accused was given chance to see a legal practitioner,” Inspector Sowe said.

The independent witness signed the statement on the very day and time the statement was made, he said, adding that the 3rd accused person was cautioned at the investigation office that was provided for the panel, and it was in the afternoon in the presence of the independent witness.

“I am not aware of the charges against the 3rd accused before the lower court. I cannot remember any report attached to the case file that was sent to the AG’s Chambers during the course of the investigation,” he also said.

“I cannot remember seeing the appointment letter of the ex-acting Chief Justice, Wowo. I did not know about his appointment, and I cannot remember seeing his termination letter. I did not also know whether the 3rd accused person had conspired with anybody as alleged by the prosecution,” he stated.

The case at that juncture was adjourned to 2 September 2013.