#Article (Archive)

Trial of deputy chief public health officer and co progresses

May 16, 2013, 10:20 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Trial continued yesterday in the case involving Bolong Jobarteh, deputy chief public health officer, and two other businessmen, namely Ahmed Samba and Kemo Touray, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting-Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow.

The accused persons are being tried on three counts of conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, sale of noxious and sale of unwholesome food, charges they had since denied.

Testifying as the second defence witness (DW2), Ahmed Samba, the second accused person, told the court that after his arrest, he was taken to the Serekunda Police Station where his statement was obtained.

Then he was escorted to the Serekunda Health Centre to collect two doctors namely, one Jallow and Sadibu Hydara and they went with them to his store, where they saw the flour, and they said that it was a good one, he said, adding that they should have tested it before the public would start consuming it.

Asked by his defence counsel that apart from looking at the flour, what else did they do, Samba told the court that there was also a test conducted by one Omar Bun Njie.

He added that the followed day, he together with the police officers and some doctors collected the sample from his store and took it to Omar Bun Njie for testing , but Njie insisted that he had to collect the sample himself, and took 7 bags with each bag containing nearly 2 kg.

He further told the court that Omar Bun Njie did not tell him the fee on the spot, but later called him to say it was D4,600, which he had paid for the testing.

After two to three weeks, Njie wrote to him indicating that the said flour was not fit for human consumption.

 “I had forwarded all the correspondence to the 1st accused, Bolong Jobarteh. I informed him that was the outcome of the test, and you can come and pick the flour from my store,” he testified.

At that juncture, the defence counsel applied to the court to make available the exhibits, which was granted.

Asked to look at defence exhibit one, and asked whether those were the documents or correspondence given to him by Omar Njie, he replied in the affirmative, saying these were the correspondence he gave to the 1st accused person.

“After giving him the documents for the testing, I used to call him almost every day for him to come and collect the flour from my store, for three months,” he said.

“I have never seen the first accused person in my life before this business. That was the first day I saw him, when they informed me about the flour,” DW2 told the court.

“I therefore vehemently denied the charge of conspiracy, among others,” he stated.

The case was then adjourned till 30 May 2013, for cross-examination.