Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Banjulunding Imam Continues Testimony Against Rongo & Efry Mbye

Alhagie Yahya Bah, Imam of Banjulunding on Wednesday continued testimony against two prominent artistes accused of lying against the alkalo of Banjulunding, Eric Tundeh Janneh.
Momodou Jarju alias, a musician and Efry Mbye, a griot last year wrote a letter to the Office of the President alleging Alkali Janneh of grabbing lands and disuniting the villagers. Both pleaded not guilty.
Testifying at Banjul Magistrates’ Court, Imam Bah said the said letter was drafted by Malang Badjie and Rongo. The Imam adduced that Efry and Rongo have also written a letter to the managing director of Daily Observer, Mr Pa Malick Faye.
According to him, the letter which states that Malang Badjie is the chairman of the village’s council of elders was given to Daily Observer for publication, but Pa Malick hesitated to publish the said letter because the alkalo’s signature was missing in the letter.
He added that when Pa Malick showed him the letter and pictures from his computer screen he advised him not to publish the letter and asked him to give him the letter which he did.
He said all this happened when Rongo read a letter at the Bantabaa, which he (Rongo) said is from the president. He added that he did not know the whereabouts of the original copies when the police asked.
The defense at this juncture objected to the tendering of letters when the prosecutor sought to. He said the document was not prepared by the witness and that a proper foundation was not laid to tender the document.
The magistrate however overruled the defense’s objection. He said the court presume that the original document is in the possession of the accused persons.
Continuing his testimony, Imam said after Rongo read the letter which stated that the President has now made Malang Badjie the chairman of council of elders, villagers nearly brawled.
And when the villagers confronted Rongo for lying, he showered verbal assault on them, Imam Bah said.
He said the elders, including himself went back to the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) office in Kanifing who earlier warned them against any conflict at the village.
They informed the officials of the allegations made by Rongo, he said, noting that the officials confirmed that what Rongo has said is false and that the alkalo was the chairman of council of elders.
Under cross-examination, Imam Bah admitted that there are three main Mosques in Banjulunding, but he did not know whether the other Imams are part of the council of elders.
The trial resumes 13 April.

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