By Nelson Manneh

Captain Ousman Jallow, the fifth prosecution witness (PW5) in the ongoing desertion trial at the General Court-Martial involving Generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba, told the Court that he flew with the former first lady to Equatorial Guinea, with the intention of coming back to the Gambia after completing his mission. PW5 was testifying during his cross examination on Wednesday 23rd May, 2018. When the case was called before the Judge Advocate Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay, the accuse persons were present, while the State was represented by Prosecutor B Jeng and Lieutenant B Sanneh. Captain Suwaibou Jammeh announced his presence for the defence while the two Lawyers from Legal Aid, announced their presence for the two accuse persons. Lawyer Uzoma Achigbue and Lawyer Charls Sarr Thomas were also present.

PW5 in his response during cross examination, told the Court that there was no arrangement made with regards to his returning to the Gambia; that when they were living the Gambia, he was not told were they were heading to.

‘‘Are you expected to pay your own ticket when living or coming back to the country on a mission?’’ Lawyer Uzoma Achigbue asked.

PW5 responded in the negative adding that during the impasse, there was no protocol to make such arrangements; that they travelled with the accused persons to Equatorial Guinea officially.

PW5 said he was informed by his boss that he was part of the delegates who are to go with the former first Lady and family; that he left Equatorial Guinea to Mauritania then to Senegal and finally to the Gambia; that he is has two passports.

Lawyer Uzoma Achigbue ask when he can make the passports available to the Court.  In response, PW5 said any time. Lawyer Uzoma Achigbue then asked him to submit both passports to the Court.

The Judge Advocate Justice Aminata Saho-Ceesay ordered PW5 to submit both passports to the Court during the next adjourned date.

PW5 said when he came back from Equatorial Guinea, he saw his name on the posting list; that when he was living from Equatorial Guinea to the Gambia, he informed the protocol that he was coming back home after having fulfiled his duty; that he did not know how the arrangements were made in connection to their journey to and from Equatorial Guinea; that he was just informed by his boss that he was part of those who are to take the first Lady and family.

Lawyer Uzoma Achigbue put it to him that the reason why he did not inform his boss was because he didn’t want to be punished.

The matter was adjoined to Wednesday June 6th 2018, at 9:30 am for continuation of hearing.

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