NIA Case: Court Grants Prosecution’s Notice On Additional Witness

By Halimatou Ceesay

Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High court has today granted the prosecution’s notice on additional witness in the trial of nine top former officials of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

After listening to the argument of both sides, the trial judge overruled the defence objection for a notice on additional witness and allowed the said witness to testify before the court.

Testifying as the 14th prosecution witness (PW14) Seedy Saidy Bah told the court that he lives in Sukuta and worked at the security unit of the SIS as a second in command.

While responding to questions by Prosecutor Rachel Y. Mendy, the witness adduced that in 2016 he worked for 24 hours, and was responsible for opening and closing the main gate of the State Intelligent Service (SIS).

PW14 said on the 14th of April, 2016, he and Mbemba Camara PW13 were at the main gate, whilst Barra Gaye was at the back gate.

“I came to work on the 14th April and I closed on the 15thApril at 8am in the morning. On that day Mbemba Camara, Barra Gaye and I were at work. We were at the gate and I saw operation vehicle, when the vehicle came up to the gate, I left my office to open the gate”, said the witness.

He said both vehicles were their office vehicles under the operation unit. When asked who was the head of the operation at that time. The witness responded that Sheikh Omar Jeng (3rd accused) was the head of the operation unit.

“When the vehicles arrived I opened the gate but there were people sitting behind the vehicles. Four people in the first vehicle and three in the second vehicle excluding the drivers”, he said.

When asked by Lawyer Mendy as to whether he knew these seven people at the time they were brought to the NIA. The witness responded in the positive, adding that they came to his office upon their arrival, for him to record their names and particulars in the detainee book.

He said the seven people were Solo Sandeng, Ebrima Jabang, Kafu Bayo, Modou Ngum, Nogoi Njie, Fatoumatta Camara and Fatoumatta Jawara. When Baba Danso brought them he told him (PW14) to go and call his boss (James Mendy) which he did. He said when he arrived, Baba Danso left, then James came in, followed by Baboucarr Sallah and Tamba Masireh. He said they told him that they want to take Solo Sandeng, Nogoi and others inside.

Pw14 added Baboucarr Sallah and Tamba told Solo that he should leave all his belongings in the office because they are taking him inside. He said Solo complied with them and took out his money, mentholato, spray and chewing stick from his pocket, adding that all their belongings were checked and confirmed by him and recorded by Pw13 Mbemba Camara.

The case was adjourned to 16th and 23rd April, 2018 at 1pm for continuation of PW14’s testimony and for further hearing.

The accused persons namely Yankuba Badjie, Louis Gomez, former Deputy Director, Saikou Omar Jeng, former director of Operations, Baboucarr Sallah, Haruna Susso, Yusupha Jammeh, Tamba Masireh, Lamin Darboe and Lamin Lang Sanyang.

They are standing trial on twenty-five charges ranging from Murder, causing grievous harm, accessory, conspiracy to commit felony, fraudulently preparing a death certificate, forgery, making document without authority, fabricating evidence, disobedience to statutory and abducting.

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