National Transport Control Association SG Cross-Examined In False Information Trial

By Mamadou Dem
Mr. Sheriff Dibba, the Secretary General of the Gambia NationalOusman Drammeh
Transport Control Association (GNTCA), was yesterday, 25 March,
cross-examined by the president of the Gambia Transport Food andAgriculture Industrial Workers Union, Ousman Drammeh after he gave his
evidence before magistrate Fatou Darboe of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

Mr. Drammeh is standing trial on charges of allegedly given false
information to the office of the Secretary General and Head of the
Civil Service, which he denied and was granted bail in the sum of
D200, 000 and was ordered to produce one Gambian surety.

Mr Drammeh alleged that Mumine Sey the current president of The Gambia
National Transport Control Association and the secretary general,
Sheriff Dibba of conniving with some senior police officers to
forcefully remove Fillijeh Nyassi as the president of the association.
He further alleged the president for financial misappropriation and
liberalization of foreign trucks over Gambian own trucks, allegation
prosecution believed was unfounded and misleading.

Cross-examining the witness, Mr Drammeh asked Mr. Dibba, who is also
second prosecution witness (PW2), to tell the court his role at the
association as well as the aims and objectives of their association.
“I am the secretary general of The Gambia Transport Control
Association and I served in that position for fourteen years. The main
aims and objectives of the association are to foster cooperation
between transport workers for the transportation of goods and services
and also to develop the skills of drivers and members of the
association. And all the transport workers are under the banner of the
association,” said Mr. Dibba.

PW2 told the Court that he could not remember exactly how many car
parks are within Kanifing Municipality, adding that not all car parks do pay their dues
to his association.

He said: “Yes, I do remember the car parks that are registered with
the association do pay dues but not exactly 65 car parks as claimed by
the accused.”

The association, he added, does also generate income from outgoing
tickets or manifests, but I cannot remember basically how often they
pay this to the association.

“Did you receive receipts to determine what they pay?  asked Mr Drammeh

“Yes we do,” replied Mr Dibba.

When asked whether he would be able to identify the receipts issued by
his association to the car parks association if shown to him, Mr Dibba answered in the
positive.

Mr Drammeh, at this point, handed over a bunch of receipts to the
witness and asked him to tell the court what purpose those receipts
are basically for.

Mr Dibba responded that these receipts were not issued by his office
so he could not dwell on them.

On the issue of liberalization or advantages given to foreign trucks
over The Gambian own trucks as claimed by the accused in his petition
letter, the secretary general of the association described the claim
as unfounded and a lie. He added that they have a truck garage within
Banjul where goods destined for both within and outside the country are
loaded, but that the transit vehicles are loaded by transit agents and
not their association.

“We only issue manifests after the loading of the truck. All vehicles
loaded are manifested and stamped by our office,” said the witness.

Asked whether he will be able to identify a manifest if he sees a
copy, he responded in the positive.

At this juncture, the accused asked the witness to look at some
documents and tell the court whether the address is 18/19 Wellington
Street. He responded in the positive.

“Do you have a representative at Ports when agents are loading the
trucks for transit?” asked the accused.

Mr. Dibba responded in the positive, adding that the cargo brokers are
not under their association.

“Does a branch office have the right to prepare its own receipt?”
asked Drammeh. “I don’t know,” answered the witness.

The accused asked, “I put it to you that genuine receipts are always prepared by your
head office and issued to branch offices.”

PW2 replied in the negative.

The accused further put it to the witness that their head office does
prepare receipts and receive D250.00 from various car parks within the
country.

“I put to you that it is your office that issues outgoing tickets that
you receive D5.00 per trip,” said Mr. Drammeh. The witness concurred.

Mr. Drammeh maintained that GNTCA prepares and issues cargo manifests
to trucks but the witness replied in the negative.

Mr. Dibba further testified that he doesn’t know the percentage
foreign trucks pay if there is any.

Drammeh added, “I put to you that Gambian trucks don’t load goods once they
discharged their goods from any sub-region.”

“That’s not true,” said the witness.

Mr. Drammeh finally put it to the witness that after knowing the
truth, he deviated to tell the truth before the court, but the witness
disagreed.

At this juncture, Police Prosecutor Alieu Faye applied for an
adjournment to enable him call the next prosecution witness.
Consequently, the case was adjourned to 8th April, 2015 for
continuation of hearing.