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Taxi driver testifies in D505,000 safe theft

Oct 18, 2010, 12:09 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The second prosecution witness, Wandifa Dibba, a driver, recently testified in the trial of one Fatou Badjie, who allegedly stole from a dwelling a safe containing D505,000 and two title deeds, before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court.

Wandifa Dibba told the court that he recognised the accused person, and could recall what happened on 5th October 2010.

He said, on the day in question, he was from Westfield heading to the Traffic Lights Junction with his taxi, when the accused persons stopped him.

He added that the first accused, Ndey Korka Ndong, said to him that they needed a taxi to collect luggage, which belonged to the second accused, Fatou Badjie, who lives with a boyfriend.

According to him, upon reaching the compound gate, they advised him to reverse into the compound, which he did, and he saw a safe. He said he asked them, "what is this?: and they said it's a safe.

PW2 further testified that the safe was put into the taxi, and they headed for Serekunda to find a welder man and the accused persons were arguing with the welder man.

"That was the time I knew that the accused persons did not own the safe, and I told them to return the safe to where they took it from, but they did not agree," he further told the court.

He said he insisted, and told them that he would not leave the safe with them, and that he will rather return it to the owner.

"From there, I took the road leading to the Traffic Lights, and upon reaching at 4-Seasons, the first accused said to me that she is not going back with the safe, alighted from the taxi and boarded another taxi and followed them," he added.

PW2 further said that upon reaching the said compound, the first accused alighted from the other taxi and stopped him, and said to him that she has hired another taxi, since he was not willing to take them to their destination.

Mr Dibba said he still insisted, and told them that he will not give them the safe unless they returned it to the owner.

He added that while he was talking with the other driver, the first accused went and opened the booth of the taxi, took the safe and placed it on the ground, then said to him that the safe will be transferred to the other taxi.

Further testifying, PW2 told the court that he then said to them that now he agreed with them. The second accused, he continued, then lifted the safe and put it into the taxi and, in the process, his own windscreen got broken.

The first accused then paid the second driver, joined his taxi again, and asked him to take them to their destination.

He further told the court that while heading to Kairaba Police Station, the first accused opened the door, and left the vehicle.

However, he continued with the second accused to Kairaba Police Station, holding her with his left hand and driving with his right hand.

He said, at the police station, he explained everything, and they arrested the second accused, Fatou Badjie.

The safe was handed over to the police, the witness informed the court, adding that he later came to know the owner of the said safe.

 He said a statement was obtained from him and he later saw the first accused, when she was arrested and brought to court.

The second accused was granted bail in the sum of D500,000 with two Gambian sureties who must swear to an affidavit of means.

The case was adjourned to 21st October 2010 for continuation.