WABSA Coordinator Continues Testimony in Sait Matty’s Trial

By Mamadou Dem
Amadou John, National Coordinator of the West African Bird StudySait Matty Jaw
Association (WABSA), who doubles as vice chairman for the Banjul youth committee and the third prosecution witness in the trial of Sait Matty Jaw, yesterday, Wednesday, April 8, ended his evidence in chief before Magistrate Samsideen Conteh of Banjul Magistrates’ Court.Mr. Jaw is standing trial on charges of conspiracy, failure to
register a business and disobedience to statutory duty which he
denied.
He was earlier charged along with Seth Yaw Kandeh, a Ghanaian
national, and Olufemi Erinle Titus, from Nigeria, both of whom pleaded
guilty to all counts and were accordingly sentenced to a fine by the court.
Mr. Jaw, however, maintained his innocence.

Continuing with his evidence in-chief, the third prosecution witness
testified that he made enquiries as to why the media did not cover
both the opening and closure of the training but was not given any
answer.
He said four days after the training, Pw2 (Mustapha Jaw) called
to informed him that he (Pw2) has been selected as supervisor while he
(Pw3) was selected as participant.
“We then convened a meeting at his residence. During the meeting, he
told us that they were supposed to have a training for the
supervisors. We told him that if you go tell the trainers that if they
don’t provide T-Shirts and identification cards, we are not going to
participate,” said the witness.
Mr. John said when Pw2 returned he gave them feedback and informed
them that transportation will be allocated during the event while
payments will be made after the event. He added that Pw2 summoned
another meeting again at his house to tell them the day they should
start the survey exercise from Banjul to Fajara.

On their payments for the survey, the witness testified that they were
asked whether to be paid in advance or after concluding the survey
exercise but that they opted for payment in advanced.

He said they agreed that if there is clearance and rest of the
materials provided, they would commence the survey, adding that they
went to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters to give
statements.
PW3 testified that while coming from the NIA Office, he said to PW2
that they were allocated money without conducting the exercise and
that Pw2 told him that if he gets any update from the organizers, he
will inform them. He said four days later, a supervisor from Kanifing
Municipality (KM) came to Banjul and called Mustapha Jow, who in turn
called him to come and meet with the man.

At this stage, the lead counsel, Lamin Camara, who appeared together
with Segga Gaye, interjected and raised an objection on the evidence
given by the witness. He argued that the witness was giving hearsay
evidence and therefore urged the court to expunge that piece of
evidence.
State counsel Babacarr Drammeh, on the other hand, submitted that the
evidence given by the witness was not hearsay and consequently
referred the court to Section 80 of the Evidence Act.

He asked the court to overrule the objection by the defence and allow
the witness to continue with his evidence.
In his ruling, Magistrate Samsideen Conteh upheld the objection and
expunged that piece of evidence on the grounds that it was hearsay
evidence.
Further testifying before the court, the witness told the court that
when they met at Independence Drive in Banjul, the KM supervisor told
them that he was sent by the accused to receive money from Mustapha
Jaw (Pw2); that he counted the money and gave it to him and that
all of them signed.
Under cross-examination, the defence asked him whether it is correct
that he participated during the course of the entire training, he
responded in the affirmative. He added that it is correct that he told
the court that they were dealing with three trainers who are foreign
nationals.
“Who was the overall authority at the training?” quizzed Camra.
“Actually, I don’t know,” responded John.
“You told the court that you were shown questionnaires during the
training. Could you remember the whole questionnaires where you are?”
The witness responded in the negative, adding that it is bulky.

The witness finally told the court that he does not know who authored
the questionnaires.
Cross-examination continues today (9 April).