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Trial opens of 13 prison officers

May 24, 2012, 10:37 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The trial opened yesterday at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court in the case involving 13 prisons officers, charged with three counts of office breaking, stealing and negligence of official duty.

They are Modou Barrow, Lamin Jadama, Ebrima Sanyang, Musa Manneh, Foday Ceesay, Jankey Bojang, Yankuba Colley, Salifu Drammeh, Faye Camara, Binta Njie, Ebrima Keita, Yaya Manneh and Abdoulie Baldeh.

Testifying, Anna Taro, a prison officer attached to Jeshwang Prison Camp, told the court that on 30 April 2012 she reported for work at around 7:56 am and entered the office of the first accused person, Modou Barrow, who is the deputy superintendent, and meet him sitting there.

She said the first accused told her that they broke into her office and his office too, adding that she asked him what he meant, and the first accused started to explain.

Taro told the court that she walked into her office and Ebrima Sanyang, Inspector Jeng, Inspector Landing Colley and the first accused, all followed her into the office.

Modou Barrow, started to explain, saying that when he was about to enter his office, he found the two offices broken and that was why he sat on the bench.

Designated as the first prosecution witness (PW1), Taro told the court that she then asked Ebrima Sanyang who was on duty at the time of the break in, and Sanyang told her that he was at the backyard.

“I told him that you were the man on the ground and in charge to patrol in all the corners of the prison,” she told the court, adding that Sanyang still maintained that he was at the backyard.

PW1 said she then enquired from the officers on night duty, and ordered that nobody should leave and they should all remain there, while she informed their authorities.

“Myself, Modou Barrow, Ebrima Sanyang, SPO Badou Jeng and SPO Landing Colley went to the offices that were broken, and discovered that the safe containing 61 life rounds of ammunition, 6 blank ammunitions, 9 Galp coupons, cash of D5,000 and other items were removed from the safe that was attached to the wall,” she told the court.

She said her personal properties that were in the office were also taken, and none has yet been recovered.

The authorities including Yaya P. Jarju, Commissioner Lamin Faal and other prison officers all came to the scene, she added.

She further told the court that the deputy commissioner’s office is located at the right side, a few meters away from the entrance.

She said the officers in charge were Sgt Musa Manneh, CPL Yankuba Colley, CPL Lamin Jadama, CPL Foday Ceesay and Jankey Bojang; they were the ones on duty at the adult wing of the prison.

According to her, she found the office scattered, and the safe that was removed from the wall was later found half opened at the bathroom.

She said the incident was later reported to the Old Jeshwang Police Post.

The case was then adjourned to 6 June 2012.

Meanwhile, the accused persons were each granted court bail of D100, 000 with a Gambian surety each.