Aug 18, 2014, 10:22 AM
The trial of Sheikh Dawda York, Ebrima Kebbeh, Demba Sowe, Kemo Fatty, all Gambians, and Oumie Saffiatou Jallow and Alpha Kanteh, both Guineans, last Thursday commenced before magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing magistrates’ court.
The accused persons were charged with conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and cheating, allegations they denied.
The first prosecution witness, Muhammed Tunkara, was led in evidence by the prosecuting officer, Sergeant 1781 Kinteh.
He told the court that he lives at Fajara F. Section, and recognised the accused persons.
He was introduced to Dawda York by one Abdoulie Bittaye. They planned a business trip to Sierra Leone to see his father, and Bittaye suggested they should see Dawda York before going to Sierra Leone, for spiritual support. He said they went, and was introduced to Dawda York.
After returning from Sierra Leone, he went back to the UK. He was with one Daren Brown in UK, and constantly received telephone calls from Dawda York, claiming that he (York) saw bad things coming to him, and he (Tunkara) should give some charity.
Dawda York also sent him some juju to wear, and he wore the juju. Dawda York phoned Tunkara to send some money, and Tunkara told the court he could prove how he sent the money through his bank account.
He further stated that he sent the money, because Abdoulie Bittaye would always tell him on the phone to give some charity.
Dawda York also introduced Tunkara to one Buba Camara in connection with a gold transaction, adding that he could not tell how much money he sent to Dawda York, unless he checked some documents.
He further said York told him there was somebody in Sierra Leone who had 50 kg of gold, and had asked Dawda York whether he confirmed it was gold. Dawda York said he did not, but he would, and would phone him.
The following day he contacted Dawda York, and York confirmed that it was 22 plus carat gold, and York then gave him Buba Camara’s number to speak to him.
He phoned Buba Camara and they talked, and Camara confirmed that the gold was 22 plus carat, and there was a certificate to prove it from Guinea.
They agreed on the phone that he (Tunkara) would come over to verify. Camara told him, he would tell the others to come to Serrekunda with the product.
Tunkara told Dawda York that he would come with his partner, and York told him that he should not see Buba Camara or any of them, when he comes.
Mr Tunkara came to The Gambia, and stayed at the Cape Residence in Bakau and three days after his arrival, Dawda York came to see him with someone.
Dawda York told him that he wanted to see him in private, and York asked how much he was going to spend.
Tunkara told Dawda York that every money he spent would be made known to him, adding that Dawda York told him he should not miss this opportunity, as his products were real.
From there they went to one Ebrima Kebbeh’s office, to verify the product.
His uncle, Muhammed Lamin Kebbeh, Kemo Fatty, Saffiatou, Demba Sowe and one Gibby were present.
One Demba Sowe brought a bag when he went to verify the product; it was locked with a padlock, and he was told to wait for Ebrima Kebbeh.
Demba Sowe told him that they loaned from Saffiatou $7,000 and the money was for the transportation of the product to The Gambia from Guinea.
All the time Dawda York was present, and he was also told that the products were with Demba Sowe and goods were with PK Enterprise.
Tunkara narrated that when he grabbed the bag, there was nothing in it, and this was confirmed by his uncle.
The case was adjourned to 26 June 2014, for the hearing to continue.