Police Officer Testifies In Union President’s Trial

By Mamadou Dem
Sergeant Yerro Saidy of the Major Crimes Unit of the Gambia Police
Force (GPF) Tuesday, 16 February, 2015 testified as the firstprosecution witness (PW1) in the ‘False Information’ trial of
Mr. Ousman Drammeh, President of the Gambia National Agriculture and
Industrial Workers Union.

Appearing before Magistrate Fatou Darboe of the Banjul Magistrates
Court, Mr Drammeh is facing a single count charge of ‘Giving False
Information to a Public Officer’, contrary to section 114 of the
Criminal Code. He denied any wrong doing.

Sergeant Saidy told the Court that sometimes in the month of June,
2014 the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) received a
letter from the Office of the President dated 5th June, 2014
instructing it to probe into a petition letter written by the accused
to the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service against one Mr.
Mumini Sey, the current President of the Gambia National Transport
Control Association (GNTCA). He said the letter from the President’s
Office was minuted to the Crime Management Coordinator and to the
Officer Commanding the Major Crimes Unit, Superintendent Botto Keita.

“I was then directed by my O/C to be part of the investigations,” said
the witness. “The directives from the Office of the President and that
of the accused person petition was given to me to forge ahead with the
investigations,” he added.

PW1 testified that during the course of the investigations, they
embarked on a nationwide fact finding mission and that the panel of
investigators found out as a fact that the allegations in the petition
of the accused were false and misleading. He added that they later
wrote a report on the issue and which all the panelists signed.

He said the investigations into the matter further revealed that Mr.
Mumini Sey became president of GNTCA since 2001 based on an election
held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul after removing Filijeh Nyassi
from the position of president of the Transport Union.

At this point, Sub-Inspector Alpha Badjie, the prosecutor, applied to
tender the investigation report, the directives from the office of the
President and a copy of the petition as exhibits but which was
objected to by the accused. He argued that one Inspector Conta who was
one of the signatories to the report left few days after the
investigations and was not present at the end of the investigations.

All the documents were admitted and mark accordingly. However, the
court ruled that the accused did not give sufficient grounds or
reasons warranting the denial of the investigation report to be
admitted in evidence.
PW1 finally testified that he obtained the cautionary and voluntary
statements from the accused person and both of which were admitted in
evidence and marked accordingly.

Consequently, the matter was adjourned to 2nd March, 2015 for
continuation of hearing.