Tuesday, November 2, 2010

PW1 Ebrima Marreh Discharged, Rui Says He Tried To Meet President Jammeh In Vain



Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) While PW1 (Ebrima Marreh) was discharged by the Court after the defence counsels finished cross-examining him in Day Seven (Monday 29th March 2010), the Second Prosecution Witness (PW2), Ousainou Jabbi alias Rui Jabbi Gassama opened his testimony in the on-going treason trial involving the State, Lt General Lang Tombong Tamba and Seven others at the High Court in Banjul, presided by Justice Emmanuel Amadi. 

While PW1 (Ebrima Marreh) was discharged by the Court after
the defence counsels finished cross-examining him in Day Seven, the Second
Prosecution Witness (PW2), Ousainou Jabbi alias Rui Jabbi Gassama opened his
testimony in the on-going treason trial involving the State, Lt General Lang
Tombong Tamba and Seven others at the High Court in Banjul, presided by Justice
Emmanuel Amadi. 

In his testimony, Rui Jabbi Gassama, a Gambian-Guinean told the Court
that he is a businessperson from Bundung but now residing in Guinea Bissau
where he is doing business. According to him, he knows three of the accused
persons (Lang Tombong Tamba, Ngorr Secka and Lamin BO Badjie). He told the
Court that one day in 2009 in Guinea Bissau while on his business transactions,
Ngorr Secka (sixth accused) called him on his phone, telling him that he wanted
to see him.
According to Rui, he told Gibril Ngorr Secka that they should meet at a
restaurant called Samaritan in Guinea Bissau.
When they met he added the 6th accused asked him to sold him a kilo
of cocaine and he (Rui) told him that a
kilo of cocaine cost 14,000 Euros which the sixth accused (Ngorr Secka) paid
and collect the cocaine.
He further told the Court that one day Ngorr Secka called him and asked
him whether he can find arms for them (Ngorr Secka, Kukoi Samba Sanyang, Lamin
BO Badjie and Lang Tombong Tamba) ‘but I told him that they should wait.’
He added that Ngorr Secka told him that these arms are for the allege
coup plot against the Government of The Gambia, and then he (Rui) contacted a
friend called Modou Trawally in Guinea Bissau and told him to find a photo of
arms for him so that he can present it on paper to Ngorr Secka. Rui said that he
told Ngorr Secka that he did not have the photos of the arms from his friend,
but Ngorr Secka called him on phone and informed him that they have already
secured the arms. When asked did you see the said arms, he replies in the
positive. When asked again who saw him the arms? He said Ngorr Secka and Kukoi
Samba Sanyang. He said the arms included four
explosive mortars, mortar 8 and two remote explosives,
adding that it is
the same remote explosives that Guineans used to kill their Chief of Defence
Staff. He also told the court that he was a Military Intelligent Officer from
1988 to 1991 in Dakar, Senegal. He added that he sat for
an examination were he won himself a free scholarship to the French Military
Intelligent School called Sincei, France, where he spent five
years. “After finishing my course, instead of returning to Dakar
to receive my certificate, I proceeded to the USA
and in 2000; I left the United
States for Guinea Bissau,” Rui Jabbi Gassama
told a crowded Court Room. He added that upon arriving in Guinea Bissau, he
started his business and befriended the then Defence Minister of Guinea Bissau
and the drug the Guinean Government seizes were given to him to sell, thereby
bagging a Guinean Nationality through the process. “I throw my Gambian nationality
because I did not want people to know that am a Gambian and the accused persons
also did not know that am a Gambian that is why they revealed all their secrets
to me and they told me that they wanted to kill the President,” Gassama said.
He said after sawing him the arms, the Ngorr Secka told him that they wanted to
stage a coup d’├ętat and want to export the arms to The Gambia. He (PW2) told him that no problem, that he
has a friend who is also called Rui who is selling his boat for 75,000 Euros
and he (Rui Gassama) went to see the boat in a town called Archiet, the former capital of Guinea Bissau. He said after seeing
the boat, he returned to Bissau, and Ngorr Secka called him again to asked him
about the boat and he told him that he have seen the boat. He revealed that, he
went with Ngorr Secka and Kukoi Samba Sanyang to see the boat and they told him
that the boat is good. ‘As a business man I charged them 200, 000 Euros, if
they do not agree to that then the last price is 150, 000 Euros which they
agreed to,” PW2 said. According to him, after the agreement, PW2 added that
they asked him to train three hundred
(300) machineries
for them at a boarder between Guinea Bissau and Guinea
Conakry in a village called Bambadinga.
He told the court that the sixth accused and Co. were hiding their guns in a
bush were the training took place, adding that he and a few others were given
the mandate to train the machineries on how to use machine guns, 12 by 7
machine guns, mortar guns, plastic nigo and AK47s. He added that the
machineries were divided into three sections; each section comprises of one
hundred people and was headed by a Chief, saying that the names of the Chiefs
are Ajelly, Edi and Buba. He further
told the court that out of the three hundred machineries two hundred are Gambians and the other hundred comprises of other
nationalities. He also said he was being paid to train the machineries because
as he puts it, ‘I never do anything for free as I am a businessperson.’ He told
the court that they paid him 30,000
Euros
and the money was paid to him
in The Gambia
by Lang Tombong and Lamin BO Badjie at Lang Tombong’s house,
adding that
the 1st accused added an
extra 5000 Euros for him
to ensure that he is committed to the course of
actualizing the coup plot. He said they also promised him that if they
succeeded they will buy him a compound in The Gambia and in Guinea Bissau and
will expand his business. When asked, which part of the country he knew as he
has been away for so long, PW2 told
the court that one-day Lang Tombong picked him with a four-wheel vehicle at a
junction in Tallinding and they pass the airport and the army camp and turned
right were there were lights and they left the high way and entered in a
compound. According to him, the house is a one storey building and when they
entered the parlour, he was asked to sit down.
He added that Lang Tombong and BO
Badjie
told him that he cannot know the other people involved until they
overthrow the Government of The Gambia. “Then he counted the money (30, 000
Euros) and gave it to BO Badjie and he handed it over to me. Lang Tombong then
gave me an extra 5000 Euros and brought me back where he picked me,” he
said. He also noted that while they were
in the house, Lang Tombong introduced him to one Ebrima Marreh (PW1). Earlier
on, Lawyer Awa Sissay Sabally, counsel for the 8th accused (Youssef
Ezziddine) continued her cross-examination of PW1 (Ebrima Marreh)
Awa Sissay Sabally – Mr. Marreh do you remember going to Kotu Police Station on 2nd September 2009?
Marreh - I cannot remember. Awa
Sissay Sabally - do you remember listening to any audio cassette some time in
2009 at Kotu Police Station?
Marreh
- I do not remember.
Awa
Sissay Sabally - am putting it to you that you listen to a cassette at Kotu
Police Station and on that day you met Kuluteh Manneh? Marreh - Yes.
Awa Sissay Sabally – what happen at Kotu Police Station on that
day? Marreh – I can
remember.
Awa Sissay Sabally – you remember telling Kuluteh Manneh that you are
the President’s uncle?
Marreh – I cannot remember saying that.
Awa Sissay Sabally – can you tell the Court what you remember saying at
Kotu Police Station? Marreh
- On that day, myself, the former IGP Ensa Badjie and Kuluteh Manneh and others
I do not know. The former IGP introduced Kuluteh Manneh to me and he asked me
my name, I told him Ebrima Bojang. Awa
Sissay Sabally – what do you remember having been said?
Marreh – I said noting. Awa
Sissay Sabally – what was the purpose of the gathering?
Marreh – I did not
know.
Awa Sissay Sabally – who recorded your statement on 21st
November 2009 at NIA Office? Marreh – I did not know the name, am
just there to give my statement.
Awa Sissay Sabally – am putting it to you that all the evidence you give
to the court is a big pigment of your own imagination and there was never a
coup plot involving the accused persons?
Marreh – I denied it, I said the truth.
Re-cross examination of
PW1 (Ebrima Marreh) by DPP Chenge
DPP Chenge - you said in your evident that you saw Omar Bun Mbye twice at the meeting and your answer was yes can you explain how you saw him at the
meetings?
Counsel Pap Cheyassin Secka objected to the question arguing that re-cross examination is not an opportunity for the prosecution in this case to
have the second bit of the cake. He said it is to clear ambiguity, arguing that
there is no ambiguity in the statement and in the evident in chief or in the
answer given by the witness. Counsel Secka added that the only opportunity for
the prosecution is to call in the next witness to repair the damage done by the
PW1.
In reply, the DPP said that there is ambiguity raised by the cross examination, ‘we wanted to ask the witness, whether he said that because we
want to know which is which, that is what we want to know. However, Judge
Emanuel A. Amadi over rule the objection of the defence counsel.
The DPP then appealed to the court to discharge his witness, which was granted without an objection from the defence counsel.
Day 8: PW2 Continues Testimony, 30th March 2010
Mr. Gassama continues his testimony by telling the Court that the day the first accused person (Lang Tombong Tamba) gave him the money, was not the first time
seeing the accused. He noted that the first time he met with Lang Tombong
Tamba, he picked him at a junction in Tallinding and they went to Lamin BO
Badjie’s (3rd accused) compound.
“In the parlor, there was a light in front of me like that of Lang
Tombong Tamba’s house, because they did not want me to see the other people,
because they told me that I cannot see the other people till they succeed in
overthrowing the government,” Rui told the Court.
According to him, when they entered the parlor, Lang Tombong called Kukoi Samba Sanyang and inform him that they are with him (Rui) , adding that Lang Tombong made the
phone on loud speaker and he heard Kukoi telling them that he (Kukoi) saw the
boat, let them respect him because he did well.
When asked how do you know the compound was BO Badjie’s? He said that it was Lang Tombong who told him it’s BO Badjie’s compound. He further told the Court that
Lang Tombong picked him for the second time at the same junction and they go
straight to BO Badjie’s compound, but his time they use different direction to
BO Badjie’s compound.
After their entrant in the compound, Rui said they went straight to the house and the allege coup plotters encouraged him by telling reiterating their commitment to their promise, if things go as
expected.
“That is why they name the day of the coup ‘Black Friday’ (Tobaski Day),” Gassama said.
According to him, the day was set for the attack and that they will monitor the movement of the president from the State House to Kanilai Village
and all military barracks, adding that the accused persons told him that all
barracks are afraid of them.
Rui Jabbi told the court when he left Bissau for The Gambia, Ngorr Secka gave him his Bissau phone number so that if he
reaches The Gambia, he could call him with his phone number in The Gambia so that Ngorr Secka can have access to his
number and give it to Lang Tombong and BO Badjie. “They did not want for me to
know exactly their contact numbers,’ Rui said of the 1st and 3rd
accused persons, arguing that, that is why they always called him with a
private number even by the time he was in Bissau.
He added that when he arrived Gambia he called Ngorr Secka and gave him his
contact number (3994440), however, he said that Ngorr Secka told him that Lang
Tombong and BO Badjie will call him.
Asked why he came to meet the accused persons in The Gambia? He
responded that as a military and intelligent officer, he wanted to know what
they are planning and how, so that he can revealed their secrets for the sake
of his nation.
He further added that he did not want them to kill his Gambian brothers and sisters and destroy all their nice buildings, noting that he did not want Gambia
to be in the same situation as Liberia
and Sierra Leone.
He argued that there is hunger and killing of innocent people for the sake of
selfish interest in these countries. “Am a military intelligent officer, I know
how dangerous those arms are, only one mortar explosive can destroy the State
House not to talk of people, the people I was training would have never failed
had they had the chance to come here,” he argued. According to PW2, said he and
his colleagues (John Michael and Smith) are good trainees and in fact one of
them is an ex-soldier
He also said that he, Ngorr Secka and Kukoi went to see a big marabout called Kankara Suweneh in a village called Jabbi kunda in Guinea Bissau to secure charms for the coup plot.
According to him, he told Ngorr Secka and Kukoi that Jabbi kunda is were he was born, that is why he is called him Rui Jabbi. Gassama added that the marabout told
them that to sacrifice twenty one (21) cows; seven (7) white, seven (7) black
and seven (7) red. He explain that the marabout told them to kill all 21 cows
pour the blood in the sea level raised
and give out the meat to the poor people. He said the marabout told them make the
sacrifice at 5PM, but he (RUI) told
Kukoi and Ngorr Secka that it should be made in the morning , citing that he
knew the coup will fail because gave them the wrong timing
of the sacrifice.
Rui also said that the marabouts gave them something to bath in order to protect themselves in overthrowing the government. Rui added that the cows were bought
at a hundred thousand CFA and the
money was brought by Kukoi in a brief case. Pw2 stated that Ngorr Secka and
Kukoi Samba Sanyang asked him to help them with four, fore-wheel cars and he
told them that they can talk about the price.
He said, he told them that each car is costing 5000, 00 CFA and when they asked him whether the cars can be rented, he told them that each is 75,000 CFA and if
they are to be used outside Guinea Bissau, they will have to deposit the
selling price.
According to Rui, the machineries were to invade the country as Kukoi and the first group of machineries was to come through Bissau to Blumbi, to Tamba-Kunda (Senegal)
where they were to rest at the Asta kabbe Hotel and from Tamba-Kunda to
Kaolack, Barra and then to Farafenni.
Rui said the first group was to meet Ebrima Marreh (PW1) in Farafenni. He told the Court that the second group were to come with the allege boat, while others
were to travel to the Gambia
by land. PW2 explained that after all the process, he came to The Gambia and go
directly to State House and met one Captain Jallow and told him that there is a
boat coming from Bissau
with arms, that he want them to seize the boat.
He said that Jallow asked him how can they do that and he told Jallow that let one officer accompany him to Bissau
and took the picture of the boat. He added that Jallow told him that let he
call his boss, the Chief of State Guard.
After the Chief of State Guard came, Rui said he explained everything to him and the Chief of State Guard assured him that they will assign an officer to go with
him; however, PW2 said that it never happened.
Still testifying, Rui said after he left State House, he continues straight to the Office of the National Intelligence Agency and explained everything to the
Director, who told him that he would try to book an appointment with him to see
the President, so he can explain everything to the President.
According to Rui, all efforts to see President Jammeh proof futile as the Secretary General at the Office of the President deny them the chance to see the
president. “While I was in The Gambia, I received a call from someone
threatening me, saying that you are the one who revealed the secret but you
would see. I did not know the number, because it’s private lines,” he said.
Those days, he told the Court that he was afraid and did know what to do but decided to go back to Guinea Bissau. According
to him, the training of the mercenaries took 45 days on tactics as to how to go
about the attack, adding that every Friday Ngorr Secka use to visit them
because he was the link between the machineries, Lang Tombong, BO Badjie and Kukoi.
As he narrates, Ngorr Secka always brings food for them in the bush (training camp). Asked why they wanted to stage a coup against the government, he told
the court that they (Lang, Ngorr, BO Badjie and Kukoi) told him that President
Jammeh is the only one who decides on everything, he put women on top of men
and that the President brings foreigners in The Gambia to monitor them so that
there will be no corruption.
He told the court that Ngorr Secka informed him that Lang Tombong Tamba is the Chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia and Lamin BO Badjie is the Director
General of the NIA, adding that that was the time the two were sacked.
He said: “now that these people are sacked, how can they stage the coup plot but Ngorr Secka told him that the two have friends in the army and NIA who can
continue from where they stop.
He explained that after he left The Gambia; one day, the authorities of The Gambia and Bissau met him while under detention in Guinea and saw
him pictures and asked him whether he recognised any of the faces on the
picture. He said explained that he recognised Ngorr Secka, Lang Tombong and BO
Badjie. He also told the Court that that was the first time he knew Ngorr
Secka’s real name, citing that he knew him as Assan all along.
Jabbi Gassama went on to say that the authorities showed him a Gambian news paper where the faces of Lang Tombong, BO Badjie and other solders. Asked if he knew
any face on that newspaper, he said he pointed Lamin BO Badjie and Lang
Tombong’s face and the authorities took the newspaper and go with it. At this
point, the newspaper was then showed to him by DPP Chenge and he recognised it.
At this juncture, DPP tendered the newspaper for identification purpose (ID)
without any objection from the defence counsels. The paper was mark (ID1).
PW2 was shown the picture of a boat and he said that he recognised it and it was tendered by DPP Chenge as an ID which was accepted by the court without any
objection by the counsels’ mark as ID2. He was also shown two different pictures,
where he identified the three accused persons (1st 3rd
and 6th ) and Samaritan Restaurant where he met with Ngorr Secka in
Guinea Bissau, which he said he recognised and it were tendered as IDs and mark
as ID3a, ID3b, ID3c, ID3d, and ID4 respectively.
Lawyer Pap Cheyassin Secka Cross-examines Ousainou Jabbi (Rui Jabbi Gassama)
Lawyer Secka: Can you remember exactly when you first met with Ngorr Secka
Gassama: I cannot remember when I met Ngorr Secka.
Pap Secka: Did you say, in your evident in chief that the training of the machineries last for 45 days?
Gassama: Yes
Lawyer Secka: Do you remember how many days, weeks or months before the begging of the training?
Gassama: I cannot remember.
Lawyer Secka: Did you have the permission or licence to conduct military training in Guinea Bissau territory?
Gassama: No I did not have.
Lawyer Secka: Did the Guinea Bissau authorities know that you were conducting unauthorized military training in their territory?
Gassama: No they did not know.
Lawyer Secka: Where are those 300 machineries staying?
Gassama: They are in the bush of Bambadinga.
Lawyer Secka: Do you have any picture of the training ground?
Gassama: No.
Lawyer Secka: You said in your evident in chief that they use to bring food for the trainees every Friday?
Gassama: Yes.
Lawyer Secka: You said in your evident in chief that two European white men assist you?
Gassama: I told you that is one American and French.
Lawyer Secka: Are those two white men alive?
Gassama: Yes they are alive.
The case continues today (1st April 2010). VOL:2 ISSN:150

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