By Mamadou Dem Sergeant Yerro Saidy of the Major Crimes Unit of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) Tuesday, 16 February, 2015 testified as the firstprosecution witness (PW1) in the ‘False Information’ trial of Mr. Ousman Drammeh, President of the Gambia National Agriculture and Industrial Workers Union. Appearing before Magistrate Fatou Darboe of the Banjul Magistrates Court, Mr Drammeh is facing a single count charge of ‘Giving False Information to a Public Officer’, contrary to section 114 of the Criminal Code. He denied any wrong doing. Sergeant Saidy told the Court that sometimes in the month of June, 2014 the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) received a letter from the Office of the President dated 5th June, 2014 instructing it to probe into a petition letter written by the accused to the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service against one Mr. Mumini Sey, the current President of the Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA). He said the letter from the President’s Office was minuted to the Crime Management Coordinator and to the Officer Commanding the Major Crimes Unit, Superintendent Botto Keita. “I was then directed by my O/C to be part of the investigations,” said the witness. “The directives from the Office of the President and that of the accused person petition was given to me to forge ahead with the investigations,” he added. PW1 testified that during the course of the investigations, they embarked on a nationwide fact finding mission and that the panel of investigators found out as a fact that the allegations in the petition of the accused were false and misleading. He added that they later wrote a report on the issue and which all the panelists signed. He said the investigations into the matter further revealed that Mr. Mumini Sey became president of GNTCA since 2001 based on an election held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul after removing Filijeh Nyassi from the position of president of the Transport Union. At this point, Sub-Inspector Alpha Badjie, the prosecutor, applied to tender the investigation report, the directives from the office of the President and a copy of the petition as exhibits but which was objected to by the accused. He argued that one Inspector Conta who was one of the signatories to the report left few days after the investigations and was not present at the end of the investigations. All the documents were admitted and mark accordingly. However, the court ruled that the accused did not give sufficient grounds or reasons warranting the denial of the investigation report to be admitted in evidence. PW1 finally testified that he obtained the cautionary and voluntary statements from the accused person and both of which were admitted in evidence and marked accordingly. Consequently, the matter was adjourned to 2nd March, 2015 for continuation of hearing. ]]>
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