Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Ex-Police Chief Weeps in Court Again
“You are an officer, put yourself together,” the presiding judge yesterday found himself pleading with the embattled ex-police chief Ensa Badjie, who broke into tears again in court.
There was an air of compassion in the packed courtroom as the audience looked on their sacked hardliner police chief, who was declared ‘best’ Police IG by President Jammeh, raining tears.
Some exclaimed: ‘ndeyesan!’, (wollof) an exclamation of sympathy while one old-man strolled behind him calming him with these words: “stop crying … everything will be over”.
Sacked last year after allegedly implicating President Jammeh in illegal drugs business, Ensa Badjie is facing multiple charges of armed robbery, aiding prisoners to escape, drugs and related charges, alongside Ali Ceesay, a prison officer.
Ensa Badjie was as well, alleged to be the leader of a robbery gang and masterminded series of armed robberies. But he denied any wrong-doing.
Quite a lot of witnesses, including his alleged gang members and his former police friend made overwhelming revelations, linking him to the charges, but Ensa Badjie insisted that all allegations against him are untrue.
Mr Badjie who could not put himself together even after the Judge asked him to be strong, has again accused Serrekunda Police boss, Landing Bojang, state no.10 witness of forcing Soriba Condeh, the leader of the robbery gang and Amadou Jallow to implicate him in the crime.
He said he found the two suspects in Landing Bojang’s office and protested that Landing should not bring suspects in his office without the notice of Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
“I then left for prayers and upon my return, Soriba Condeh and Amadou told me that Landing took them to his office because he wanted them to implicate me”, he explained.
He said Landing Bojang promised to release Soriba and Amadou if they testified against him.
The former police boss said he quickly telephoned the then IGP Ousman Sonko (now interior minister), Police Division Commissioner, Ousman Jibba, the Crime Management Coordinator Mamud Jobe and ex-deputy Inspector of Police Modou Gaye to come to Serrekunda police in order to hear from Soriba and Amadou themselves.
He said Omar Jibba was the first to come and Soriba repeated the same thing to him.“Ousman Jibba made a phone call in the presence of Omar and told me to forget everything because if I forwarded this report out of police umbrella and the president happens to know about it, it will be very detrimental to Landing”, he revealed
Ensa added that Omar also appealed to him not to forward the matter to any other department.
“After the departure of Omar”, he said, “Mamud came to the office and asked the suspects if I was one of them but they replied in the negative. They instead told him that Landing just asked them to indict me and one senior officer whose name they never revealed”.
He said the statements were obtained from them as evidence. “I have photocopied all those statements and kept them for a day like this, because I know people and what they are capable of doing.”
Ensa told the court that none of the witnesses mentioned his name in their statements that he conspired with them to do their criminal conducts. He added that he never called pw11 when he arrested Soriba Condeh because he did not knew Soriba at that time as alleged pw11 in court.
He also denied telling Fatou Mendy (pw7) and Tony (pw8) to bail Soriba Condeh when he was arrested. “It’s just a malice against me”, he said
He said he requested the Director General of the state owned television to the come to the station where Soriba Condeh and the rest of suspects were recorded. “I did all this to put criminal acts to an end”
“Myself and the then IGP were invited again on GRTS in which I gave details about the breaking that was happening in Serrekunda”
He said pw1 led them to a supermarket that belongs to a Nigerian national who was a Magistrate in The Gambia and then worked with Trust Bank but he denied that there was breaking as claimed by some of the witnesses.Ensa further disclosed that he ordered some officers to recover the taxi Soriba used after he confessed that he used a taxi to do his operations. “I packed the taxi at the Serrekunda police station and up till now it is there,” he said
He said when he learnt that Soriba Condeh used another name at the Bakoteh police station when he was arrested, he ordered Abdoulie Sowe, (pw11) to bring the case file of Ebrima Camara and the motor bicycle Soriba had stolen.He added that he also has the document of investigations in the case of Soriba Condeh.
The case is expected to resume March 3.