Sunday, June 12, 2011

BANJUL COURTS: West Africans to know fate on June 13

Musa Susso: "no cause to tell lies against anyone" 
More news…
  1. West Africans to know fate on June 13
  2. Musa Susso: I have no cause to tell lies against anyone 
  3. Magistrate Taiwo threatens to revoke NAPSA bail condition
  4. Defence addresses court in Badjie’s mini trial
  5. Mboge: All allegations against me are false
  6. Two Senegambians convicted on theft charges

West Africans to know fate on June 13            
Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade of the Banjul Magistrate Court has set 13 June, 2011as the day for judgment in the trial of eight West Africans on “conspiracy to commit an offence” and “unlawful entry into The Gambia”.
They are James Wonyeh, Sampson Montgomery (Liberians), Ahamat Njie, Malick Faye, Alieu Jallow, Abdoulie Jallow (Senegalese), Modou Trawally, Wuyeh Njie and Ansuman Bojang (Gambians). They have found guilty to all charges.
According to the charges, Count one: Entering into The Gambia without pass and permit contrary Section 6 (1) of the Immigration Act Cap 16:02 Volume III Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009.
The particulars of offence stated that James Wonyeh, Sampson Montgomery, both Liberian national on or about the 29th of May 2011 in the city of Banjul Republic of The Gambia entered into The Gambia through a canoe without pass or permit and thereby committed an offence.
Count two: Conspiracy to commit an offence contrary to Section 365 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Volume III Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009. The particulars of offence indicated that Ahamat Njie, Malick Faye, Alieu Jallow, Abdoulie Jallow both Senegalese nationals; Modou Trawally, Wuyeh Njie and Ansuman Bojang both Gambians nationals on or about 29th May 2011 in the territorial waters of The Gambia, they conspired among themselves by receiving an amount of five hundred dollars ($500) from a ship captain in transporting two Liberian nationals into The Gambia which they knew or have the believe is illegal and thereby committed an offence.

Magistrate Taiwo threatens to revoke NAPSA bail condition
Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade of the Banjul Magistrate Court has warned that he may consider revoking the bail condition handed to three executive members of the pro-government student body, the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA).
The Magistrate’s stance on 8th June, 2011, followed a late appearance in court by one of the accused, they are charged with “forgery” and “uttering false document”.
Denis T. Gomez, Jarga E. Gaye, and Babucarr Jallow, have all denied any wrong doing.
On Wednesday, when the case was called, Defence Counsel Gaye Cooker applied for a short stand-down because one of the accused was not in Court.
She told the court that the accused was on his way but was late owing to a breakdown on the vehicle he boarded.
Cooker’s application was granted and when the case resumes, Magistrate Taiwo stressed that the accused should be coming to Court on time.
“This is the first and last,” Taiwo said, noting that if they are not in court on time during the next sitting, he will revoke their bail condition and ordered for their remand at the State’s Central Prison, Mile II.
“The Court should not wait for an accused person, the accused person should wait for the Court,” he said.
At this point, the Prosecutor, Mr. Manga said he was ready to continue with the case, however, the defence counsel never returned to the court after she had successfully applied for a brief stand-down.
The case was adjourned till 23rd June, 2011, but the prosecutor laments that “this is the second adjournment at the instance of the defence”.

Defence addresses court in Badjie’s mini trial
Borry Touray, the defence counsel of the former IGP Ensa Badjie on June 9, 2011 addresses the court in the ongoing “mini trial” at the High Court in Banjul, before Justice Emmanuel Amadi.
The mini trial comes as a result of the defence objection that the cautionary statement was not voluntarily obtained from the accused (Ensa Badjie) after the prosecution had applied to tender it as an exhibit in the 51 Counts charges preferred against Badjie.
On Thursday, Counsel Touray said the prosecution has failed to prove the burden imposed in the voluntariness in the mini trial of exhibit 1 which is the personal statement of Ensa Badjie dated 7th March 2010.
“It is my submission that the burden and prove in mini trial is proved beyond all reasonable doubt as required by the law,” he submitted.
He said in order for the prosecution to prove their case in the mini trial their consistence in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses (PW1 and 2); no inference must not be left in bay which should to lead for the benefit of Ensa Badjie. He submitted that on the straight of section 31(2) of the Evidence Act, exhibit 1 in Mini Trial was recorded by the accused person while under detention.
This face, he said has been elicited in the testimony of PW1 (Mballow K. Jobe) under the Mini Trial, and that there is inconsistence between the version of PW1 and 2 (Mballow K. Jobe and Babucarr Khan) by the time of recording the said statement. 
“Babucarr Khan (independent witness and PW2 in mini trial) said the statement was recorded between 7-8pm, while Mballow K. Jobe said he was not present at that odd hour, this inconsistence has not been resolved by the prosecution, by calling another witness to clear that doubt,” Borry submitted.
However, Touray said no guideline was proven in the trial as of what time the statement was recorded, noting that to compound that there was no action diary for the investigation before the judge; as a result it should be in favor of the accused.
He said the issue of inconsistency of the testimony should be resolved by the presiding judge and has been challenged by the prosecution. He added that the accused was taken from Mile II Prison to record exhibit 1 in the night and no question was raise by the prosecution for the time the said exhibit was obtained as well as the action of the independent witness and such evidence if failed to be challenged the trial judge should not take that, since it has not been proven or challenged.
He said Khan was asked when the said exhibit was made and signed, but he replied that he do not know, and even added that he could not remember meeting the accused at the national intelligence agency headquarters (NIA) when the statement was allegedly recorded. While in his evidence he said he sat face to face with Badjie when the said statement was recorded. “My lord the issue is so material, because we are dealing with the said statement dated 7th March 2010 in regard to the voluntariness of the statement, it could deem to lying to the court when he said he was present when the statement was recorded. If he is a truth witness why couldn’t he remember the day the said statement was made and signed by him,” Touray argued.
“All these statements compound one fact and the inference that could be made out from that is he was not present when the statement was obtained. This compound to the evidence of Ensa Badjie that the signing and recording happen in different dates, can lies be a motive to cover the truth of the matter and the truth of the matter is that the statement was recorded on 7 March and signed on 10 March 2010 respectively,”.     
He said Babucarr Khan is not a truthful witness that the court can rely upon; while urging the court to disallowed all his evidence together with Mballow K Jobe (PW1), collaborate the true story of Ensa Badjie.

Musa Susso: I have no cause to tell lies against anyone 
Musa Susso, former Parliamentarian for Kombo North District has denied allegations advanced by Tijan Badjie that he was in court to tell lies against him.
 “What I said is truth, I have no cause to lie against anyone,” he argued at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade.
Susso was being cross-examined by Tijan Badjie, who is standing trial alongside the erstwhile Inspector General of Police Ensa Badjie. The two are charged with “abusive of office”; “conspiracy to defeat justice”; “interfering with witnesses”; “destroying of evidences” and “deceiving witness”. They pleaded not-guilty.
On June 8, the 2nd accused (Tijan Badjie) told Susso during cross-examination that he came to the court to tell lies against him, because he prosecuted him when he was being tried for drugs.
Musa Susso claimed he testified in Burama Dibba’s trial which was heard by the Banjul Magistrate Court. I do not know who prosecuted Burama Dibba, but it was the prosecutor who called me to testify in the case, Susso said.
On the contrary, Tijan Badjie noted he was the prosecutor in that case and never calls Susso to give testimony. Tijan then applied for the court to check the case file record number B/85/08 to prove that Susso never testifies Dibba’s trial.
His application was granted and the court ordered for the filed record to be produce before the court.
Continuing, Musa Susso admitted that he was convicted on four counts for allegations he made against David Colley, the director of prison department. He said before 2008, he was serving a long term jail at Mill II Prison and before that; he was the Member of Parliament for Kombo North.
He noted that he was charged with drug trafficking but cannot remember exactly how many kilograms of drugs it was.
At this point, the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP Abdullah Mikailu intervened, but this did not go down well with the accused. “Let the DPP know his role. His role is not to see me go to jail. His role is to guide substantial justice,” Tijan Badjie said.
In response, Mikailu said: “The witness is my witness and I have to guide him.”  “He is my witness because am the one cross-examining him,” Tijan replied.
Susso said Tijan had called him aside and asked him whether he will change his statement, but he do not know what interest Tijan had in that.
“I put it to you that I never call you aside, I found you sitting and I told you that there is no need to change your statement because your statement is before the court,” Tijan argued.
Am putting it to you that all that you said in this court apart from your name and address is all false, you only came here to make false allegation against me, Tijan said.
However, Musa Susso maintains that all he has been telling the court is true and that he has no cause to lie against anyone.
At this point, the counsel for the 1st accused (Ensa Badjie), Lamin K. Mboge applied to withdrawn his representation for the 1st accused person. He forwarded no reason for his resignation from the case. Magistrate Taiwo granted application, but Badjie said he will find another counsel. The trial continues on 15 June 2011.

Mboge: All allegations against me are false
Lamin K. Mboge, a private legal practitioner who is been tried for “forgery”, “uttering documents without authority” and “making false documents” has denounced charges against him as “false”.
Opening his defence on 8 June 2011 at the Banjul Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade, Mboge said: “I did not forge any document, I did not utter any document without authority and I did not make any false document.”
He said he prepared exhibit A under the instruction of the 4th witness, Saikou Barrow and that sometime in March 2011, he came to his office and produced a copy of a court judgment against his father which he claimed to be false.
Mboge, who has vehemently denied the charges against him, he asked the witness to pay for the consultation fee but the witness said he has no money with him at that time and promised to come back to pay him.
Mboge said when he looked at the document, he advised the witness that matter cannot be solved without the court. He noted that Saikou Barrow was not happy about that advice and never returned until he was called by the Justice Minister Edward Gomez.
“Because of the respect I have for the Justice Minister Edward Gomez, in the morning I did not even go to court, I go straight to his office and found Saikou Barrow and his father at the Minister’s office,” he said.
Mboge said he told the Minister that he can help them recover their property (land) provided they abide by his advice and paid for his service. He said he told them he will file a letter to the court for them to regain their property without going to court.
Mboge said Saikou Barrow asked him to write a letter ordering those occupying their land to be evacuated by the police. This, Mboge said “even the Minister knows that he does not have the power to do that”.
“Saikou and his father agreed to pay for my service and I prepared a letter to the Master of the High Court who instructed the Registrar to search for the file. It took weeks before they found the file because it was judgment reached a long time ago,” he explained.
He said when he was busy at the courts, Saikou used to visit the Registrar Mr. Conteh and eventually had a problem with him in which he (Saikou) accused Conteh of taking sides with the other party.
Mboge said Saikou Barrow referred to the first Judgment of the Court as a “false” and that that is why the registrar does not want the case file to be seen. The trial continues on 13 June at 1300hrs.

Two Senegambians convicted on theft charges
Muhammed Ceesay, a Senegalese has been sentenced to a fine of D10, 000, in default to serve six months imprisonment, while Gibriel Nyang, a Gambian was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor.
Both were found guilty of theft on June 8, 2011 by the Kanifing Magistrate Court presided by Magistrate Sheriff B. Tabally.
The statement of offence stated “stealing contrary to section 252 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Volume III Laws of The Gambia 2009. The particulars of offence indicated that Muhammed Ceesay and Gibriel on or about May 29, 2011 at Gambia Public Transported Co-operation Kanifing in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia; they jointly stole an Air-Conditioner value unknown being the property of Gambia Public Transport Co-operation (G.P.T.C.) and there by committed an offence.
Before the judgment was announced, Prosecutor 2118 Gomez, said Muhammed Ceesay (1st accused) is a first time offender, however, Gibriel Nyang (2nd accused) is a second time offender as he has been arraigned before on charges of theft.
He was cautioned and discharged after the court found that he spent a long many time in detention, the prosecutor said.
Gomez said the accused persons went to GPTC in Kanifing without the notice of the watchman and removed the Air-conditioner at the Accountant’s office; it was only while handing over duties to the daytime watchman that the night watchman, Babucarr Sarr noticed that the Air conditioner was removed. Both rushed to the Kanifing Police Station and reported the matter.
Gomez said the two watchmen later returned with two policemen and upon arrival they found the said Air-conditioner behind the fence of GPTC but decided not to touch it. While monitoring it from a distance, after a while, the accused persons appeared to collect the Air Conditioner and were arrested on the spot.
In his judgment, Magistrate Tabally noted that the offence is serious and carries a jail term of up to seven years and since Gibriel Nyang is not a first time offender, sentenced him to two years imprisonment with hard labor. While Muhammed Ceesay gets a fine of D10, 000, and in default to serve six-months in prison.


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