#Article (Archive)

Witness denies having prejudiced mind against Ensa Badjie

Oct 29, 2010, 10:06 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Police Superintendent Landing Bojang yesterday denied having a prejudiced mind against the former Inspector General of Police, Ensa Badjie, which motivated him to come to the court and testify against him.

Bojang was responding to a question posed by defence counsel B.S Touray, during the ongoing robbery trial in Banjul against Ensa Badjie and CSP Ali Ceesay before the special criminal court presided over by Justice Ikpala.

"My lord it is not true that I have a prejudiced mind against the 1st accused which prompted me to come to the court and testify against him," Bojang told the court.

Asked which authorities constituted the 'Joint Security Task Force,' the witness said, 'The police authorities.'

"Do you mean the Inspector General of Police?" asked the counsel.

"The Ministry of the Interior," replied the tenth prosecution witness.

He admitted being the head of the task force, when counsel put another question to him.

Superintendent Bojang also informed the court that he was answerable to the Commissioner of Police for Kanifing Division, when lawyer BS Touray asked another question.

"The VIP treatment you talk about in this court. Do you report the issues to the Ministry of the Interior," quizzed the counsel. "No, my lord," answered the witness.

He told the court that arms were used during the armed robbery operations. This was in response to a question by counsel, who asked whether any arms were used during the armed robbery operations.

"Was anyone complaining to the police that he or she was physically assaulted, during the armed robberies," counsel further asked. In reply, the witness said, "Yes, my lord."

"Who are these complainants," counsel further quizzed. In reply, the witness said he could not recall the complainants' names.

On whether he (the witness) would agree that, instead of armed robbery, there were incidents of shop-breaking, the witness insisted that there were armed robberies.

As to what events led to the arrest of Soriba Condeh, the first prosecution witness, and one Langkaman now deceased, the witness said Soriba was the first to be arrested, and later Langkaman.

"Is it correct that it was Amadou Jallow who assisted you in effecting the arrest of Langkaman?" counsel asked, and the witness in response said it was an informant of the police.

Asked who helped the police in effecting the arrest of Langakaman, Bojang said it was Soriba Condeh who assisted the police.

"Is it correct that it was through phone communication between Soriba Condeh and Langkaman that Langkaman was arrested?" counsel again asked the witness, who replied, "it is not correct".

"Tell the court how PW1 assisted the police in arresting Langkaman," counsel quizzed further, and the witness said that when PW1 was arrested he led the police to where Langkaman was.

"How was Langkaman arrested?" counsel asked the witness. "He was arrested at Bambo," the witness replied, and denied counsel's assertion that he was not honest to the court about the arrest of Langkaman.

"Am putting it to you that you suggested for PW1 to use the phone so that arrest could be effected on Langkaman," counsel said. However, the state witness insisted that is not true.

He also denied counsel's claim that it was through that phone conversion that PW1 knew where Langkaman was.

"I am putting it to you that the VIP treatment given by the 1st accused to PW1, as claimed by you, with regards to the use of phone while in detention was a police strategy to effect arrest on Langkaman," counsel said. "That's not true," Bojang responded.

When quizzed as to how PW1, who was inside the cell, could know that Langakamn was in Bambo, the witness insisted that on their way coming they sighted Langkaman under a veranda.

He further said, under cross-examination, that he could recall when PW9, Dodou Janneh, was trained as a Criminal Investigation Department Assistant. This was also in response to questions put to him.

Superintendent Bojang also told the court that he could recall that at the time when he was in the police, and the 1st accused, Ensa Badjie, was in Darfur. This was when counsel told him that at the time, Ensa Badjie was in Darfur on a mission.

"You are aware of the allegations against the 1st accused, that he was involved in an armed robbery which was investigated by the police and NIA in 2007," counsel asked the witness, who said he did not know about the allegations.

"You were the principal state witness, who made the statement at both the police and NIA," said counsel, to which the witness responded: "I never made a statement to the police neither the NIA."

At that juncture, the defence counsel alerted the presiding judge to the fact that the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mikailu Abdullahi, was signalling the witness while in the dock, which the DDPP disputed.

The witness proceeded to testify, and stated further that he did not know whether the convicted persons that testify in court confirmed that an investigation was mounted against the 1st accused, with regard to his alleged involvement in the armed robbery.

Bojang also denied knowing that after investigation into the allegations, the first accused was cleared, and that the findings were false. This was also in response to another question from the counsel.

He further told the court that he could not also recall the number of armed robbery incidents, when counsel asked him how many robberies took place.

The senior police officer also denied being selective in speaking the truth, when counsel put it to him that he was selective in telling the court the truth.

"Where you able to recover any item or exhibit?" asked counsel. Bojang, in reply, said he had already said in court that when the suspects were arrested, they were handed to CID personnel.

When asked whether the police task force had any diary, the witness replied in the negative.

Superintendent Bojang said the task force did not keep dairy, when further grilled by the counsel.

The case was adjourned till 1st November 2010.