By Rohey Jadama
Cadet Inspector Samboujang Manneh testified as the second prosecution witness (PW2) in the case involving Lamin Fatajo, former Project Coordinator of the former Rural Finance Project, Muhammed Lamin Mass, acting Finance and Administrative Manager of the same project, and Madam Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture before Justice Simeon A. Abi of the Banjul High Court.
The state was represented by Hadi Saleh Barkum, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), while the 1st and 2nd accused persons were represented by Lawyer Borry S. Touray and Edward Singhateh and the 3rd accused was represented by Lawyer Sheriff S.M. Tambadou.
Continuing with his testimony, Cadet Inspector Manneh told the court that he is attached to the fraud square unit at the police headquarters. He told the court that he recognized the 3rd accused person. He adduced that while he was on duty he was asked to obtain a cautionary statement from Madam Ada Gaye. Cadet Inspector Manneh told the court that the 3rd accused recorded the statement.
DPP applied to tender the said statement, there was no objection from defence counsel Sheriff M Tambedou, he however told the court that the copy he was served was not readable. The said statement was admitted and marked as Exhibit E by the court. Defence counsel Edward Singhateh said they don’t have any question to ask.
Testifying under cross-examination by lawyer Sheriff M Tambedou, the witness was asked whether he was the one that recorded the statements. He responded in the positive, adding that it was recorded in December, 2014. Cadet Inspector Manneh was asked whether the 3rd accused denied the charges preferred against her. The witness replied in the positive. The witness was asked about the voluntary statement of the 3rd accused. The witness replied that it was in the file of the DPP. A copy of the voluntary statement was shown to the witness and he identified it. Lawyer Tambedou applied to tender it as an exhibit. However there was no objection from the DPP and it was marked as Exhibit E1.
The witness was asked which statement he first recorded. He responded that he first recorded the cautionary statement. He was further asked whether he read the statement after the 3rd accused finished recording it. He responded in the negative. The witness was asked why he did not read it. He replied that it was written by the 3rd accused person.”Were you not curious to read it”, he enquired. The witness responded he was only asked to record the statement of the 3rd accused person. He was asked whether he participated in the investigation. He responded in the negative.
He was asked whether the cautionary and the voluntary statements were obtained the same date. He replied in the positive. “Officer Manneh, are you sure that you were the one that obtained these statements?” He responded in the positive. Lawyer Tambedou observed the statements for a while and added, “Exhibit E was obtained in September and not December”. “Yes”, responded Cadet Inspector Manneh.
The case was adjourned till 19 May, 2015 at 11am.