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Trial of Ensa Badjie & co continues

Oct 27, 2011, 1:17 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The trial on multiple criminal charges involving Ensa Badje, former police chief, and Major Kuluteh Manneh and Lt. Col Mam Matarr Secka, yesterday continued at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Continuing his testimony, Omar Ndow, the seventh prosecution witness, (PW7) told the court that he later went to Sillaba Samateh and told him that they are now ready to look for customers for the cocaine.

He added that he then took a Nigerian called Frank and introduced him to Sillaba, because Sillaba said the product was not for The Gambia and should not be sold in The Gambia and, therefore, no Gambian should be involved.

Mr Ndow further adduced that he told Frank that this was a setup and if the process went through he (Frank) would be given 5,000 Euro, adding that Sillaba had even told him that he had some quantity of cocaine in his store.

“He took me to the store and showed me a round bowl which was sealed at the time. Sillaba said he wanted it to be sold, but it was sealed in a metal box,” the witness explained.

He further stated that Sillaba explained the reason why the first business could not materialized.

PW7 said one Emmanuel, a Nigerian national, called him on the phone telling him that he was in town, adding that he went and met him, and took him to Sillaba’s compound.

“Sillaba asked Emmanuel what he could do, and Emmanuel said to him that he (Emmanuel) could buy and sell, but Sillaba told him that the cocaine was not to be sold here in The Gambia,” he added.

“We wanted to transport it elsewhere, but we will pay anybody who transported it,” he stated, adding that they assured Emmanuel that security was not a problem, because some top officers had been assigned to do that job.

He said Ensa Badjie was for the security in the Gambia, while the land delivery from the Gambia to Ghana, Senegal and Guinea, etc that was the responsibility of Kuluteh Manneh and for the airport it was one Kawsu Camara.

“Sillaba later told me that he was aware that I and Muhammed wanted a setup, but I and Muhammed cannot do that because this thing was bigger than us,” the witness went on, adding that Sillaba told him that the deal was well protected.

Still testifying, Ndow told the court that Sillaba reported him to the police at Kairaba where he was detained for three days, and he Sillaba later came and bailed him.

He said that after falling apart with Sillaba, Sillaba revoked his bail and he (the witness) was re-arrested and detained incommunicado for eight days, adding that he was later taken to the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court where he was charged.

He said that after reconciling with Sillaba, Frank called and told him that the business was not going through because there were people in Senegal.

Ndow added that Sillaba told him that he (Sillaba) was supposed to give the ex-IGP Ensa Badjie 10,000 Euro again, adding that he and Sillaba went to the Brusubi roundabout, where Sillaba gave Ensa Badjie 10,000 Euro, in his presence.

He said they later went to the Yundum Army Barracks to give some money to Kuluteh Manneh, but then Kuluteh was busy and they could not see him, and they went away.

Under cross-examination, the witness stated that he had been seeing Kuluteh at Sillaba’s compound frequently; adding that all what he said in his statement was what Sillaba told him about the 3rd accused, Kuluteh Manneh.

The case continues today.