Monday, July 22, 2019

2nd Narcotic Officer Testifies In alleged torture victim’s case


By Kebba Jeffang Adama Bah, a narcotic officer attached to the Drug Law Enforcement Agency – Gambia (DLEAG) office Sheikh Chamat Wellingara, has opened his evidence in chief in the ongoing obstruction trial of Sheikh Cham, who is claiming to have been tortured by the drug officers. During the proceedings on Monday, 24th August, 2015, before Magistrate Kijera of Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor M. Jallow announced his representation of DLEAG whilst Banjulo Nyangado appeared for the accused person. Testifying, Bah told the court that on the 19th March, 2015, he was part of the drug officers that arrested the accused person at one ‘ghetto’ called ‘Obama Strasser’ in Lamin. He said the team was led by NCA3 Abdoulie Kebbeh and that their mission was to visit the place upon tip off to apprehend a drug dealer who was said to be coming with 5 big bundles of suspected cannabis. He said they have been there for about 30 minutes when they saw two boys coming and who they intercepted to conduct search on them. “We identified ourselves as narcotics officers and wanted to conduct search on them. One of them complied while the other, who I came to know as Sheikh Cham (the accused person), refused to be searched. He said he read the law and therefore school drop outs and non-professionals would not search him. He also said he trains students of the University of The Gambia. He started shouting until the whole neighborhood was alerted which led to the failure of our mission. We then arrested him and took him to Wellingara DLEA. This incident occurred around 22hrs. I identified myself to the accused by showing him my warrant card,” said the second DLEA witness. Prosecutor Jallow tendered the original copy of the warrant card which was admitted and marked as Exhibit A when there was no objection made by the defence. However, the prosecutor’s further application to replace the original copy with a photo copied one was objected to by the defence counsel. The trial magistrate therefore overruled the application and ordered for the tendering of an original copy in court. Continuing with his testimony, the witness told the Court that the friend of the accused person was not arrested because he complied with them and nothing was found on him. “Our mission failed because of the accused person,” said the drug officer. The matter was at this juncture adjourned to 31st August, 2015 at 1pm.]]>

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