Police Investigator Testifies in Ex-Minister of Works’ Trial

By Rohey Jadama
Alagie K. Manneh, a police investigator  attached to the Major CrimesOusman Badjie
Unit of the Police Headquarters, yesterday, 20th January, 2015 testified
as the second prosecution witness (PW2 ) in the ongoing trial
involving Mr. Ousman Badjie, the former Minister of Works and
Transport.

He testified before Justice S.A Abi of the Banjul High Court.
When the case was called, Lamin S. Camara announced his appearance for
the accused person, whilst Hadi Saleh Bakum, the Director of Public
Prosecution (DPP) represented the state.
Mr. Manneh told the court that he lives in Sinchu Alagie and that he
knew the accused person sometime in November, 2014 when he was tasked
to obtain his cautionary and voluntary statements.
PW2 told the court that at first the accused was asked to write his
own statement and upon writing the said statement, an independent
witness signed it and which he (accused) endorsed, adding that he was
the one who cautioned the accused.
The police investigator said he read out the particulars to the
accused in the presence of an independent witness but that the accused
denied all the charges.
When asked by the DPP whether he will be able to recognize the said
statement if shown to him, PW2 responded in the positive, adding that
his name and signature are on it.
After confirming the said statements shown to him, the DPP proceeded
to apply to tender them. Without any objection from the defence, they
were accordingly admitted and marked as exhibits A, A1 and A2
respectively.
PW2 was further asked by the DPP to say all that he knew about the case
and his respond was that his role was only limited to taking
statements from the accused.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel Lamin S. Camara, the
witness was asked whether it is correct that he did not know what
transpired at the Gambian Embassy in France. In response, PW2 answered
in the negative.
When asked by the defence counsel whether he knows the name of the
independent witness and where he works, the witness told the court
that his name is Basiru Drammeh but that he doesn’t know where he
works.
“I will like to say apart from obtaining exhibit A, A1 and A2 you
don’t know anything about this case,” said Lawyer Camara. “Yes,”
replied the witness.
Under re-examination by the DPP, PW2 was asked whether he will be in a
position to know whether Basiru Drammeh works in the Gambia Police
Force.
The defence counsel objected to the question, citing a subsection of the
Evidence Act. He argued that the question is confined to matters
referring to cross-examination. “My lord, this question arose from the
evidence in chief of the witness and the answer was in the negative.
Therefore, this question should be disallowed,” submitted Counsel
Camara.
The trial judge in his ruling upheld the defence’s objection and
disallowed the said question.
At this juncture, the case was adjourned to 29th of January, 2015 at 2pm.