Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fansu Jatta Cross-examined In Criminal Trial of Former Principal

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By Nelson Manneh

Fansu Jatta, the 2nd defence witness (DW2) in the ongoing criminal trial of a former principal of Model School in Busumbala was on Tuesday cross-examined by Sargent B. Jarju who appeared for the Inspector General of Police.

In this criminal trial, the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Claudiana Cole is the complainant.

Mr. Isaac Ague was charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant contrary to section 114 of the Criminal Code of The Gambia.

When the case was called before Magistrate N. Blessed Isaac, Ague announced his appearance whilst Sargent B. Jarju appeared for the Inspector General of Police.

Mr. Jatta in his testimony said Mrs. Claudiana Cole once approached him (the witness) to claim ownership of Model Senior Secondary School situated in Busumbala and told him that she needed his cooperation and the cooperation of the Village Development Committee (VDC).

He said that he told her (Mrs. Cole) that he could remember that in the year 2000 her husband, Mr. Pa Cole had approached them for land and a plot of land was allocated to him because at that time the village was in need of a school.

Mr. Jatta said five years after the land was shown to Mr. Cole, he never came back to the village. Then in the year 2006, Mr. Isaac (the accused person) approached the villagers and they held lots of discussions and they agreed to sell the land to Mr. Isaac.

During cross-examination, the defence witness said the land (the school) which was shown to late Mr. Cole and later sold to Mr. Isaac bears the same name Model School. Jatta was quick to add that the land was allocated to late Mr. Cole based on some agreements that were never fulfilled.

The prosecuting officer put it to the witness that the accused person wanted to change the name of the school to Isaac Agua School. The witness told the court that he is not aware of that fact, adding that what he knew is Mr. Isaac was dismissed from the school in 2012.

The police put it to him that it was negligence on his part and that of the VDC to allocate a land to two people. The witness responded in the negative. The witness was then discharged. The matter was adjourned till the 27th December 2018 for continuation of hearing.

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