Thursday, June 23, 2011
President Jammeh Order Us to Follow Eric T. Janneh
One Momodou Badjie, a tailor by profession and a native of Banjulinding on Monday informed the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over Magistrate Ade Taiwo Alagbe that the villagers of Banjulunding were ordered by President Jammeh to follow Eric T. Janneh as the alkalo of the village.
Badjie was testifying against the two loyalist of APRC who are standing trial on four counts: false information, making false documents, uttering false documents and prohibition of conduct of breaching the peace.
They are alleged to have written to the Secretary General Office of the President, stating that the alkalo of Banjulunding is disuniting the villagers and grabbing lands.
Both accused persons pleaded not guilty.
Manneh said this was made clear to them by the then Secretary General Njogu Bah in the presence of Rongo, his father, Eric T. Janneh and himself at the president’s office, State House.
At the president’s office, he said: “The Secretary General told us that he did not want to hear anything from us and that the president was aware of the problems in Banjulinding and that he wants to reunite and we should recognized Eric T Janneh as the alkalo.”
He said the then Secretary General also advised Eric T. Janneh to treat all the villagers equally and they all agreed before they left.
He said when they got back to the village they got another letter that they want Foday Jambang as their alkalo, which he said was written by Rongo, the first accused.
He added that they reported the matter to the National Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office where his statement was taken by an officer.
He said later in the day Eric together with some elders were invited to the NDEA and were informed by the officers that they had a directive from the president and they have only two options: either to settle matter among themselves or take it to court, but he said the alkalo pleaded that the case be settled peacefully among themselves.
Badjie said Eric was finally appointed as the chairman of council of elders at the NDEA and they were told by the officers that anybody who disregards what has been settled had disobeyed the president.
Momodou Badjie told the court: “After four days Malang Badjie called a meeting, took out a letter and gave it to the first accused to read who told the gathering that the letter is from the president’s office and that Malang Badjie is the new chairman of council of elders.”
The witness said the first prosecution witness protested against Rongo’s statement, but Rongo responded that selecting elders of their village was not the work of the NDEA.
“The first accused admitted reading the letter after reporting the matter again to NDEA, but denied knowing where the letter was from Momodou explained. He added that the official vowed to investigate the matter but told the court that he is not aware if they did as they promised.
The magistrate at this juncture adjourned the case till June 29 for continuation of hearing.