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9 in court for allegedly exporting essential commodities

Apr 16, 2020, 2:10 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Alieu Jallow, Alasan Jeng, Abdourahman Jallow, Ousman Baldeh, Ousman Sarr, Musa Barry, Babacarr Sallah, Pascal Mendy and Sulayman Jallow were on 9 April, 2020, arraigned before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court. They have been docked for allegedly exporting essential commodities, contrary to Section 5 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 7 (1) (a) of the Essential Commodities Emergency Powers Regulations, 2020.

They pleaded not guilty when the charge sheet was read to them.

According to the indictment bill, the accused persons on the 1st and 3rd April, 2020, along Banjul, Westfield – Brikama Highway and in diverse places in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia, being commercial drivers to motor vehicle registration numbers: RGB 3282 LR, KD 7752 A, RGB 6402 CD, RC 2446 A, TH 09023 F, DL 4714 D, TH 2732 E and RGB 7949 CC, were found with 6,533 bags of sugar, 12 twenty-litre gallons of cooking oil, some bags of rice, 50 boxes of China green tea,  other 50 boxes of China green tea, 884 cartons of milk and some assorted goods to export them to Casamance and Guinea Bissau.

They were granted bail in the sum of D250,000 each with a Gambian surety who should surrender his or her ID card and swear to an affidavit of means. The accused should also deposit their travelling documents with the registrar of the court.

Inspector Bobb, Sergeant Touray and Sub- Inspector Gomez presented the bill of indictment on behalf of the Inspector General of Police. The prosecution team called their first and second witnesses on 14 April, 2020, to testify.

Pa Saho Suso, a police officer and the first witness, told the court that he works at the Anti Crime Unit under CID operation. He stated that on 31 March, 2020, and 1 April, 2020, he and his colleagues went on patrol around the Mandinaba end. He told the court that he identified Sulayman Jallow, an accused person.

He testified that they intercepted a truck containing some bags of sugar between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.         He further told the court that the accused was arrested and taken to the Anti Crime Unit.  He added that he then made a statement.

Combeh Gaye and Sega Gaye represented the accused persons. Sega Gaye cross-examined the witness. Under cross-examination, the witness was asked whether he checked the goods in the truck. He replied that it was the witness who told him that there were 1240 bags of sugar, adding that there was a space on the truck and the accused showed him the bags of sugar through the space.

It was put to him that there were other goods in the truck apart from the bags of sugar, but he answered that he saw only the bags of sugar. He noted that he and his team were on patrol until the hours of 4 am and 5 am when they took the accused to the Anti Crime Unit.

It was also put to him that he had enough time to check all the goods in the truck. He replied that they had no time to do so because they were patrolling. He was asked whether the truck left the territory of The Gambia. He answered in the negative.

The second witness, Police Officer Bass, identified two accused persons namely; Alieu Jallow and Abdourahman Jallow. He narrated almost the same story as the one narrated by the first witness. He told the court that one of the trucks stationed at Bond Road was about to leave.

He was asked whether the truck which contained the bags of sugar which belonged to Alieu Jallow left The Gambia. He said it did not. It was then put to him that the accused did not violate any law, and he responded that he could not answer the question.   

The case was subsequently adjourned to 20 April, 2020, for continuation. The presiding magistrate then informed the court that she would advise herself as to whether to transfer the case.

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