Dec 18, 2014, 10:47 AM
Momodou Lamin Jobarteh, who allegedly promised to procure a visa for one Pa Malick Gaye, was arraigned recently before Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.
Pa Malick Gaye, the complainant, told the court what transpired between him and Jobarteh. He lives in Bakoteh and is a businessman.
He recognised in court Jobarteh, who was charged with obtaining money by false pretence, an allegation Jobarteh denied.
On 25 April 2014, according to Gaye, he discussed with the accused person about travelling, who told him he procures visas for people. Gaye also told Jobarteh that he wanted to travel, but did not have money.
However, he has land given to him by his mother, to give to any person who gets him a visa.
He told Jobarteh that the plot of land is in Brikama Jalamba. He visited the area with the accused and his friend.
After the inspection of the land, the accused said he wanted it, and asked whether he (Gaye) has a passport.
Gaye said, “yes” and asked Jobarteh to go with him to see his mother, who owned the land.
At her home, Gaye’s mother told Jobarteh she was the one who asked Pa Malick to find someone who could procure a visa for him, in exchange for the land.
Jobarteh then asked Gaye’s mother to confirm that she owned the land.
Gaye told Jobarteh to get him a visa for China, and Jobarteh asked for his passport, which he gave him. Jobarteh told Gaye he would go to Dakar any time to get the visa.
After a long period, Jobarteh phoned him to say his visa was out, and went to the house of Jobarteh, who showed him the visa.
Gaye asked whether he could show the visa to his mother, and Jobarteh agreed.
He showed the visa to his mother, and returned the passport to the accused person, who told him to keep it.
He further told the court that the visa was valid for three months, adding that the agreement was that the accused would procure a visa and buy a ticket for him.
After one month, Jobarteh told him he thought the cost of the ticket was cheap, but it was not.
Gaye then told Jobarteh that he could not say this to his mother, who only has a plot of land.
He further said he would offer Jobarteh D30,000, adding that the accused would need another D5,000 to buy him a ticket.
Jobarteh then asked him to give him a short period so he could collect some money from other people he was procuring visas for.
Gaye said he would from time to time ask Jobarteh about the transaction, and he would tell him to wait.
After two months of the visa’s three-month validity, Jobarteh did not tell him anything, and Gaye’s mother asked him what was happening.
Gaye subsequently saw Jobarteh and told him that the remaining validity period of the visa was not much.
Jobarteh told him that he would go to Dakar during the last three weeks before the visa expired, and that if he could procure the first visa, it was not difficult to procure a second visa for Gaye.
Jobarteh later went to Dakar, and when Gaye phoned him Jobarteh said he was still on the transaction, but the money he had was not enough.
Jobarteh then asked Gaye whether he has the D30,000 and told him to send it to him.
Gaye told Jobarteh he only had D20,000 and would ask his mother to give him D10,000.
However, Jobarteh said the D20,000 was enough, and told him that he has a friend called Abdoulie Sanneh, to be met at the Trust Bank branch at Tippa Garage.
Gaye told the court he withdrew the money and gave it to Abdoulie Sanneh.
Jobarteh returned from Dakar, and did not phone him. Gaye went to Jobarteh’s house, who said he did not get the ticket, but was going back to Dakar.
Gaye accompanied Jobarteh to Dakar, where he promised to buy him a ticket from one airline, which he failed to do.
At this juncture, lawyer Edward Singhateh, counsel for the accused person, applied for an adjournment.
The case was adjourned to 14 October 2014, for continuation of the hearing.