High Court Assistant Bailiff’s trial continues

Oct 27, 2021, 12:51 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Lamin Darboe, the second prosecution witness in the case involving Bakary Sarr, Assistant Bailiff at the High Court in Banjul, continued his testimony on the 21st October, 2021, before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

When the case was called, Deputy Superintendent of Police Jawara rose and told the court that he was representing the IGP along with Sub-Inspector Jammeh. 

Continuing his testimony, he stated that the complainant, Bully Nemaga, paid a total sum of D1,500,000 to the accused who issued a receipt to that effect. He adduced that the accused then said he would work on the documents, and at the airport, the accused received D30,000 from the complainant. He noted that he knew this from the complainant because he was not present. 

He further told the court that the accused informed him that he had already prepared the documents. “I told the accused to come to my home at Sukuta so that we could go to the complainant’s house at Brusubi. As I was at the complainant’s house, the accused came with somebody whom he said is a lawyer,” he adduced.  He posited that they welcomed the lawyer in the room and the accused removed the documents and showed them to the complainant.     

He narrated that the accused told them that there should be a stamp duty, and the complainant gave the accused D26,000. “The moment we departed from our meeting, we never sat together again,” he testified. He stated that he witnessed all the payments except the D30,000.  

At the end of his testimony, the presiding magistrate asked the accused whether he had some questions for the witness to test his credibility. He answered in the positive. He then asked the witness whether he was ever taken to a plot of land. The witness told the court that the accused took him to a plot of land at Brusubi. The accused put it to him that it was not true but the witness maintained what he said.    

“Did we sit and discuss a plot of land?” the witness was asked.

“Yes,” said the witness.

“That is not true,” the accused challenged him.

“It is true,” the witness responded. 

The accused then asked the witness how much was given to him (accused) by the complainant. The witness answered that the complainant gave the accused D500,000 at the airport, and D250,000 was also paid to the accused at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court premises.    

“The complainant paid another D250,000 to the accused at Old Jeshwang and also paid D26,000 to the accused at the complainant’s house,” the witness revealed.

“Did you count the money?” the accused enquired.

“The complainant counted the money and gave it to you to count it, and you did so,” the witness answered.

“I did not count the money,” the accused told the court. 

 The witness denied this and said that the accused even gave them a receipt.  He further testified that the accused issued them with a receipt for the first payment but did not give them any receipts for the subsequent payments.

“Do you want the court to believe that out of the D1,000,000 I only gave you D20,000 as a kickback?” asked the accused.

“During the first payment, you gave me D25,000.  You also gave me D10,000 during the second payment and D20,000 during the last payment as kickback,” the witness replied. 

It could be recalled that the witness earlier testified that he once saw the accused person who showed him a plot of land. He said he went to visit the land at Brusubi. He adduced that the accused told him that the Sheriff Division office was selling the land, which measures 40m X 75m. He testified that the land is an empty plot with cashew trees.  “When I visited the site I told the accused to call me. I later told him that I had somebody to come and see the land. I went to the complainant and told him about the land,” he stated.

He narrated that he told the complainant that the accused was working at the Sheriff Division and it was the accused who told him that they were selling the land. He added that the complainant told him that they should go and visit the site. 

“I took the complainant to the land and he said to me that he liked the land. He asked me whether we could see the accused and I told him that it was not a problem. This was between 2019 and 2020. I then called the accused to speak to the complainant and handed the telephone to him,” he revealed.

He noted that the complainant asked him how much the accused was selling the land and informed him that he was selling the land for D2,000,000. He posited that the complainant told the accused that the price was too high but the accused later reduced it to D1,500,000. He stated further that the complainant told the accused that he would later pay for the land.

“We met the accused at Tabokoto and the complainant paid a deposit of D5000,000 at the Elton Petrol Station to the accused. The accused gave him a note as a receipt. We then boarded a car and left. The complainant again paid D250,000 to the accused at the Kanifing Court premises,” he told the court.

He adduced further that after paying D250,000, the complainant called him and informed him that he had gathered some money. He, the witness, then called the accused to meet at TK Motors. He added that the complainant paid to the accused another D250,000. “The accused then gave me D20,000 as a kickback. The complainant told the accused to prepare a document for the land since he had paid some money to him,” he revealed.

 He noted that he called the accused to prepare the documents for the land in the name of the complainant because he did not want to have any embarrassment with the complainant.  He said that   although the complainant had paid some money to the accused for the said land, he did not have the title deed for the land. “The complainant knows where the Sheriff Division office is but because he trusts me a lot, this was why he got into the transaction,” he testified.

He stated that the accused prepared some assignments and brought them to him and he took him to the complainant’s home. He added that the accused was with someone whom he said is a lawyer.

The third prosecution witness is expected to testify on the 2nd November, 2021.