Friday, March 18, 2011

Convict Tamba and Fofana, urges Prosecutor Kulo

Fofana (L), Tamba (R)
State Prosecutor Denial O. Kulo has urged the High Court to convict Langtombong Tamba and Sarjo Fofana on all the four counts of treasonable offences.
Kulo, who is also the Director of Special Litigation, was addressing the Special Criminal Division of the High Court in Banjul before Justice Ikpala on Monday 14th March 2011.
On count one (Conspiracy), Kulo said the accused persons participated in the meetings of the alleged coup plot; however, he said not everybody is accepted to participate in such meetings.
He cited numerous court case in The Gambia Law Report and That of Nigeria back his arguments. He also referred the court to exhibit C (statement of Bunja Darboe), arguing that the witness gave a graphic description of how he was given a ride by the first accused, Langtombong in a car were the second accused (Sarjo Fofana) was present.
However, defence Counsel Sheriff M. Tambedou objected to this statement and challenged D.O. Kulo to address the court on the facts before the court, but judge Joseph Ikpala told Tambedou that the defence will have their turn to reply.
D. O. Kulo also referred the court to Exhibit A (Tamba’s statement) and draw the attention of court to page 11, indicating that from line 5 to 7 is simply the tactical attempt carried out by the first accused to ensure that the agreed mission (the coup) be fulfill.
He said: “The action of the first accused was a tactical approach to the whole agreement; Langtombong set two groups for the arrest of Colonel Ndure Cham and Bunja Darboe. The group which supposed to arrest Ndure Cham was restricted by Langtombong, by telling them to alert him before making any move, for him to be part of the operation.”
D. O. Kulo quoted page 11 line 8 of Tamba’s statement which stated that “If you call a man and asked him where he is, the reasonable thing you are to do is to asked where are you exactly”. “When an accused person’s statement is tendered by the prosecution, the person called is bound to consider that statement as part of the statement legally place before it.”  
The Nigeria legal system is base on the Anglophone legal system which operates in all commonwealth nations including The Gambia. “We therefore urged the court to be persuaded by this authority which you can safely used sincerely to convict the accused person, he submitted.
On count two, he said deals with an endeavor to stage a coup plot and that endeavors were the act toward perfection of the coup plot. He argued that exhibit C (statement of Yaya Darboe) and the oral evidence of Momodou Alieu Bah was the tactic adopted to enable the escape of Col. Ndure Cham.
He called the attention of the court to page 10 line 9 to 12 of the statement made by the first accused. “I told Serign Modou Njie not to inform the president until we arrest these two people.”  
He said page 10, line 12 and page 11 lines 1 and 2 of the statement are areas that dealt with the operational movement of troops in the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and appointment of key officials or commanders and their functions. “This should be done by the president instead of the first accused person which is also another tactic,” Kulo said.
Counsel Tambedou objected on grounds that if that is happening in Nigeria is fine but prosecution should not confine himself to the statements that were put forward before the court.
However, D.O. Kulo said he is only making his submission, citing Section 61, 188(1)(2) and 190(1)(c) of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia and that it is clear that the president was not aware of the appointment of any key officers or commanders and movement and operation in GAF.
Kulo insisted that an officer who carries out the duties and operational function of GAF is simply carrying out the duties of the president. “If you combine the statement of Langtombong Tamba and that of Yaya Darboe you will have one clear conclusion that a coup was on the offing on this note we urge you my lord to secure the conviction of the accused persons,” D.O. Kulo submitted.
On count, concealment of treason, he argued that the accused persons had information about the planed coup but failed to alert the concern authorities, while referring the court to the statements of Momodou Alieu Bah (PW1), Yaya Darboe (PW5) and Langtombong Tamba (1st accused).
He said the accused persons did not informed any officer about any coup plot while citing section 36(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code and also referred the court to Gambia Law of evidence.          
He said count four involved the first accused only since he refused to take reasonable steps to foil the coup plot. He urged the court to compare the evidence of Momodou Alieu Bah and exhibit A as well as Tamba’s statement on page 3 to 4, his instructions to Serign Modou Njie and page 10 of the same exhibit.
He said on page 3 to 4 Tamba alleged to have made an attempt to see the president and inform him about the coup but did not have access to him, but relayed the information to Matarr Jarju State House Commander at the time.
D. O Kulo further indicated that but in page 10 he told Serign Modou Njie not to inform the president until they arrested the two persons. He said if you balance these two statements you will come to the conclusion that the first accused did not take any reasonable step to foil or to inform the president.
Kulo said: “If actually their story is true, then why is it that on 21st March 2006 when they started the operation to arrest the people involved in the coup, he Tamba told Serign Modou Njie not to inform the president.”
“In exhibit A, it is clear that the 1st accused was the deputy CDS at the time and there was telephone communication between them why he did not informed the president through phone if he cannot have access to him.”
The reasonable question is “whether a person like deputy CDS have problem of having access to the president” on the defence of a particular country? The answered is negative, he said.
He said though an attempt to see the president failed, as a reasonable person you can take another step to informed the president, even an ordinary man on the street could do something better.
He also urged the court to convict the accused on count four. With all the authorities cited by the prosecution makes it clear that the prosecution has proven their case beyond all reasonable doubts. “We urged your lordship to guard himself with the provision of section 181 of the Evidence Act to convict the accused person accordingly,” he said. The case continues on 21st March 2011 at 9:30 am for defence to address the court.   Source - The Voice 

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