Detective recounts how complainants identify alleged rapist

Jun 19, 2020, 12:06 PM

Police Detective First Class Muhammed Lamin Bobb on Thursday, 18 June testified in the case involving Ismaila Ndong who is accused of raping and robbing five women.

Ndong is facing eight counts of rape, robbery and robbery with violence.

He said while on duty at the Anti-Crime Unit on the 8 December 2019, his Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Musa Corr informed them that there was a taxi driver engaged in raping and robbery of women and girls. Witness Bobb said they were told the driver used to take women and girls on a town-trip around Mile 7 and Jeshwang, then rapes and robs them.

After the briefing, two patrol teams were deployed for Vehicle Checking Point (VCP) and he was in the team headed by Sergeant Modou D. Kah (prosecution witness one). He said they mounted a checkpoint on the Mile 7 – Jeshwang Highway.

The Bakoteh resident said at around 2 a.m. on the 9 December 2019, a taxi came with four people including the driver. He said when they checked the taxi, they suspected the taxi driver and that was when he asked the driver and the three passengers to come down. First Class Bobb said the vehicle was inspected and they found all the description of the vehicle they were told by their RSM.

The policeman said the descriptions of the taxi and the driver were: the driver put a multi-coloured cloth on his dashboard, a white towel that he uses to cover the faces of the victims when he was trying to rape or rob them, driver has dreadlocks and usually wears multi-coloured hat, knives in the car and has beautifying ornaments in his ear.

The witness testified that the driver was escorted to Banjul for the passengers to alight and was escorted back to the Anti-Crime Unit headquarters.

On 9 December 2019, Ismaila Ndong and some other dreadlock drivers were arrested on suspicion of committing crimes within Greater Banjul and West Coast Region.

When the drivers were paraded, the complainants were brought one by one to identify the dreadlock driver who raped and robbed them. The witness said when the complainant identified Ismaila Ndong, she would be asked to go back while they change the position and clothing of the accused person. The complainant was called back and she pointed at the same person, Ismaila Ndong. The complainant was asked to return and Ndong’s position and clothing were changed but when the complainant came back, she pointed at Ndong for the third time.

The witness said this was repeated for all the victims and they all pointed at Ismaila Ndong. He testified that the same process was repeated on different days but they all pointed at Ndong as their perpetrator.

“All the complainants identified the accused person (Ndong) and this was when we begin to search his car,” the witness adduced.

During the search, Witness Bobb said they recovered two small four screw drivers, a white towel, a multi-coloured hat, a multi-coloured cloth placed on the dashboard and some beautifying ornaments from the car (taxi).

He said the recovered materials were placed before a panel of investigation set up to investigate the matter of which he was a member. The witness maintained that some of the mobile phones belonging to the complainants were recovered.

Bobb testified that the taxis were paraded and the complainants were brought one after the other to identify the suspected taxi and they all pointed at the accused person’s car.

Lawyer Naffisatou Bangura appeared for the State and Lawyer Kebba Sanyang represented the accused person.

The case was adjourned to 22 June 2020 at 10 a.m. for cross-examination.