“Accused refused to be searched” DLEA Officer told Court In ‘Tortured’ man obstruction trial

By KebbaJeffang

In the obstruction trial of Mr. Sheikh Cham, Narcotic officer Michael Mendy told the court on Wednesday, 18thNovember, 2015 Sheikh Chamin his evidence as prosecution witness that the accused person refused to be searched. He said the accused told them they have no power to search him.

NCA1 M.C. Jallow appeared for the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA) whilst Lawyer Banjugu appeared for the accused person, Sheikh Cham, before Magistrate Kijera of Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

In testifying, Mendy said he is a narcotic officer attached to Wellingara DLEA station. He said he recognized the accused and could recall on the 19th March this year in a matter involving them and the accused. He said on that day he was part of a team led by NCA3 AbdoulieKebbeh while acting on a tip-off concerning a drug dealer expected at ‘Obama strasser’ in Lamin. He said about 30 minutes after reaching the place, they saw two men coming towards their direction.

“We approached them and identified ourselves as narcotic officers wanting to conduct search on them. One of them agreed and was searched while the other one later known to be the accused resisted and was shouting and using words like we have no right to search him, we are not educated, we are school drop outs and that he knows the law better than us. He was arrested for resisting search and that push and pull made us to miss our target. He was handcuffed and taken to the station,” said the witness.

He said the accused claimed that he lost his mobile phone but when Kebbeh called the phone it was the younger brother of the accused, Musa Cham, who received it. He was thereafter asked to write his cautionary statement and then charged and detained.

Under cross examination, the defence asked the witness if they were given a specific description about their target, but he responded in the negative. He said the information they were given was that the suspect was coming towards ‘Obama strasser’ with 5kg of suspected cannabis.

The case, at this juncture, was adjourned to 9 December, 2015 for continuation of cross examination.