Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jabang Village Headman Defends

The headman of Jabang village has told the Banjul Magistrates’ Court that he did not give false information to Moses Richards.

Pa Ebrima Colley was continuing testimony on Thursday at Banjul Magistrates’ Court in the sedition and false information trial involving Moses Richards, a defense lawyer.

A former High Court Judge, Moses Richards, is alleged to have written a deceiving letter on behalf of Jabang village to the Sheriff of High Court in Banjul, indicating that Office of the President ordered a stay of execution of a court order to conduct an eviction exercise in the village.

However, the alkalo of Jabang who said it was the sheriff who instructed him to secure the services a lawyer to write a letter, insisted that defended Moses Richard’s actions.

“As a result of writing a letter, your lawyer is now charged before this court with giving false information and sedition. Now I want you to tell magistrate whether you give false information to your lawyer,” a senior defense lawyer, Antouman Gaye quizzed the village head.

And Pa Colley replied: “I stand by the content of the letter because I told him everything that he has written.”

The magistrate at this point intervened and told the defense lawyer that it is left for the court to decide.

 “Don’t you think it is premature to jump into a conclusion?” the magistrate asked counsel Gaye, who insisted that the question was right and that the magistrate’s decision in the end will be based on facts.

 Continuing his evidence, Mr. Colley informed the court that the incident that took place was reported in the newspapers. “Can you recall any particular newspaper?” defence asked.
“Yes,” he said, “It was published in Daily Observer

According to him, he bought a copy of the paper and kept it as it was an unforgettable incident.

The newspaper story headlined: ‘Three arrested at Jabang Village’ on  Monday June 11, 2007 was tendered.
Mr. Colley said Ma Abdou Jammeh, Ousman Senghore and Amadou Colley were some of victims whose properties were damaged in the eviction exercise in 2007. He said they lost their monies too, but cannot remember how much it was.

Under cross-examination, the state counsel asked the witness if the Sheriff was trying to help him when he asked him to secure a lawyer.

 “It is possible that he wanted to help me,” replied the witness.

“And he warned that if you don’t write the letter within three days, there will be execution,” the state counsel asked further. But the village head clarified that the Sheriff did not tell him that he has three days, but rather, it was Pa Harry Jammeh, the solicitor General.

He admitted that the accused person wrote the letter to stop the execution of judgment when the state counsel.
The trial resumes Thursday, April 28.

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