Thursday, July 25, 2013

“I only accept, and give orders’ detective Sowe tells court

Ex-NDEA PRO Abdoulie Ceesay
Detective Abdoulie Sowe has told the High Court in Banjul that he received an order and directive to join a panel at the National intelligence Agency regarding Benedict Jammeh and his co-accused.
Sowe who admitted the directives were in writing said “I cannot say the directives are written because I’m not the author,” I only accept order, and give order”.
Sowe was responding to questions  during a cross-examination with the 2nd accused person’s (Abdoulie Ceesay) counsel, Kebba Sanyang.
Ex-NDEA PRO Abdoulie Ceesay alongside Benedict Jammeh,  Foday Barry, former director of Intelligence and Investigations at Holgam of the NDEA and Commissioner Yusupha Jatta, former head of the NDEA in the West Coast Region are facing 90 counts of economic crime, false publication, false information, abuse of office, and fabricating evidence at the High Court in Banjul.

The accused persons are alleged to have, extracted from the monies recovered from the 38, 500 Euros and the local currency amounting to D6, 000, organising a party for their operatives, which monies should have been tendered as exhibits to the court.
They are also alleged to have given false information to the office of the president and the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) that one Assan Touray was wanted for drug-related offences.
They are also said to have fabricated evidence that Abdurahman Touray of Pristine Company was wanted in The Gambia for drug-related offences in which they preferred criminal charges against him and presented it to the Gambia Police Force which was later found to be false.
The indictments further accused them of unlawfully terminating and dismissing the services of twenty (20) NDEA officers without authority, while in office as public officers.
Allegations they all denied.
Still under cross-examination, detective Sowe said he did take into consideration  the statements of the second accused before preferring charges. “I prefer charges base on the findings of the investigation on the statements recorded,” he said. “He was charged with conspiracy to commit felony.”
Earlier in his testimony-in-chief, Sowe told the court he was part of the investigation and also obtained both the cautionary and voluntary statements from the 2nd accused (Ceesay) and 3rd accused (Barry) in the presence of an independent witness.
At this juncture the principal state counsel, Aminchi Adeyemi applied to tender the statements as exhibits. Defense counsel Sanyang did not object to this. “I have no objection to the admissibility of the statements because these are not the only statements obtained from my client” he said.
Meanwhile the case has been adjourned to July 25th, because the defense counsel demanded statement from the state counsel to further cross-examine the witness.
However, all the charges against Benedict Jammeh were withdrawn because he cannot be tried in absentia on those, except for the economic crime. Jammeh is reported to have left the country.

Author: By Binta A Bah

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