By Kebba Jeffang
Magistrate Nyima Samateh, yesterday Monday, 14th October, 2014 granted the prosecution’s application to subpoena Dr. Njogu L. Bah, the former Secretary General, Head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs, who is serving a prison sentence at Mile 2 to come and testify as a prosecution witness in an ongoing theft case involving Mr. Lang Conteh, a former general manager of the Kanilai Family Farms Ltd.
When the case was called, the police prosecutor A.S.P Musa Camara appeared for the state whilst Lawyer Lamin K. Mboge represented the accused person.
In giving his evidence in court as the third prosecution witness (PW3), the witness identified himself as Sanna Jarju, adding that he recognized the accused person and that he could remember something that transpired between him and the accused on the 3rd January, 2013.
“I was in the office in my capacity as the Chief of Protocol. I was given a token of money amounting to Two Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand dalasi (D275.000.00) to hand it over to the accused person. I have that receipt,” said the witness.
When asked by the prosecutor whether he could recognize the said receipt if shown to him, the witness answered in the positive.
He was shown the receipt which he said he recognized.
The prosecution applied to tender the said receipt as Exhibit for evidence. There was no objection made by the defence.
The said receipt was eventually admitted by the court and marked as Exhibit C.
The witness said he has written a witness statement to that effect and he could recognize it if shown to him.
When shown to him, he did recognize the said statement.
The prosecution again applied to tender the witness’s statement as evidence.
There was no objection made by the defence and the trial magistrate admitted and marked the said statement as Exhibit D.
Under cross examination, the witness said he is familiar with the case but he could not recall what the charge is all about. He said he could recalled that he was called to the police headquarters to write a statement to testify that there was a token amount which he gave to the accused person.
Counsel asked, “Are you aware that police investigation report has covered the receipt?” the witness responded in the affirmative.
Counsel asked, “Are you also aware that the investigation has fully covered the amount of D1, 538, 804. 95 allegedly given to Colonel Lamin Sanneh,the Commander of the State House?” “I don’t know,” replied the witness.
Asked whether he was aware that the money paid to him was a request by the accused person; and he answered “yes;” adding that “the accused wrote to me when making the request. I was not aware of it but when I came in the morning; my boss said the accused person has written requesting for that amount. He asked me to give him that amount and I called him to come and collect it.”
At this juncture, prosecutor ASP Camara applied to subpoena Njogu Bah as stated in accordance with Section 117 of the CPC in order to serve Dr. Njogu Bah, who is serving prison sentence to come and serve as a witness.
There was no objection made by the defence counsel Mboge concerning the said application.
The trial magistrate then granted the application and ordered the said witness to appear in the next adjourned date and noted the court was going to write and order the Director General of the Prison department in connection with the application.
The case was adhourned to Tuesday, 21st October, 2014.
According to the charge sheet, the accused person sometime between 2012 and 2013 in the city of Banjul, stole D1, 538, 804. 95, being the property of Kanilai Family Farms thereby committed an offence.