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Transport Union president trial progresses

Mar 26, 2015, 9:46 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Sheriff Dibba, the secretary general of the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNATCA), yesterday told the court that what he said was “the truth and nothing but the truth”.

Dibba was testifying under cross-examination in the trial involving Ousman Drammeh, thepresident of the Gambia Transport Union,accused of giving false information to the Office of the Secretary General and Head of Civil Service, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Fatou Dabo.

Testifying under cross-examination, Mr Dibba told the court he had been the secretary general of the Gambia National Transport Control Association for 14 years now.

He further told the court that his organization is a charitable one, with aims and objectives which guide the operations of the organization.

According to Mr Dibba, the aims and objectives of the organization include fostering mutual understanding among transport workers, and developing skills of the drivers and other transport workers.

All transport workers and car parks are answerable to his organization, he said.

Asked by the accused how many car parks were registered in the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Dibba told the court that he might not know how many car parks are in the KMC, and that not all car parks paid dues to the main office directly.

He could remember some car parks used to pay their dues to the organization’s main office directly, but some car parks were not paying their dues, and it was not also correct to say there are 65 car parks in KMC.

Further asked whether the association did gain income from the out tickets or manifests, Dibba said there was income from the out tickets and they issued receipts to the car parks to that effect.

Asked how many out tickets or manifests they issued in a day, Dibba said he could not remember the number of tickets issued to them.

However, the accused produced receipts to show the witness for identification purposes, and the witness said those receipts did not emanate from his office.

He said sometimes dues from car parks were received by the branches; not the head office, adding that it was correct that they do load trucks in the country.

He said transit vehicles are also loaded by the transit agent at the Gambia Ports Authority, and they issued manifests for them before their departure to their various destinations.

“My office issued the manifest, and approved stamps officially and if I see the copy of the manifest I will be able to recognize if it was the one we issued in the office,” he said.

The accused then produced the manifest for identification purposes. However, the witness said it was a photocopy, and he might not be able to recognise it.

He said the organization has representatives at the Gambia Ports Authority who are responsible for transit vehicles in and out.

He could not say whether the branch issued receipts for those transit vehicles or not, adding that it was not correct to say his office received D250,000 for car park fees in KMC.

“We do load foreign trucks at the loading points based on first come first served basis,” he said, adding that he could not remember how many foreign trucks paid.

The case was adjourned to 8 April 2015.

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