By Mamadou Dem
Alhagie Sanyang, a police officer attached to the Serious Crime Unit and lead investigating officer in the ongoing single count charge of ‘Punishment for malicious injuries’ against Ebrima Jawara, yesterday, 1 March, 2016 continued to testify under cross- examination by Modou Drammeh, counsel for the accused.
When the case resumed for continuation of hearing, Sub Inspector Sanyang testified that he has been in the police service for eleven years, adding that he has been with the serious crime unit for eight years.
He said it is correct that he headed the investigation of this case and all the facts presented in the investigation report are true and correct.
When counsel put it to him that the only fact stated in the investigation report was that the accused was the Coordinator for Central Project Coordinating Unit (CPCU) under the Ministry of Agriculture, the witness responded “All I stated is true”.
“I’m further putting it to you that CPCU is a self accounting entity and therefore the accused has the authority as the budget holder to change cylinder of the lock to his office” said the defence counsel. “I never knew that CPCU is a self accounting entity unit,” replied the witness.
“Is it not true that Mr. Jawara did not physically changed the cylinder himself but that a carpenter changes it?” The witness answered, “Yes that’s true.”
“Did you ascertain who instructed the carpenter to change the cylinder?” The witness answered, “Upon request by the accused, the cylinder was changed.”
“I’m putting it to you that it was Mr. Ismaila Bojang and Ndey Fatou Trawally who called and instructed the carpenter to change the cylinder.” The witness answered, , “That’s not true.”
Reading the investigation report, lawyer Drammeh said Mr. Jawara was facing criminal charges pertaining to misconduct at the said office. “Can you tell the court which offence was Mr. Jawara facing charges for misconduct?” asked counsel Drammeh. “Central Projects Coordinating Unit,” replied the witness.
“I’m putting it to you that that is not correct?” said the counsel for the accused. “That’s true,” insisted the witness. He added that the accused was facing criminal charges in the office he was previously occupying.
“I’m further putting it to you that before this case was filed against the accused, he was charged for his role as Project Coordinator of the Rural Finance Project (RFP), a post he held from December 2010 to June 2011 and not for his conduct as CPCU Coordinator which he assumed in July 2015,” said Lawyer Drammeh. “I don’t know that,” responded Sub Inspector Sanyang.
PW1 further testified that he does not know whether the rural finance project ended in December 2014 or where it was located.
When he was asked that as the IPO whether he did ascertain how the police obtained the keys to the CPCU Coordinator’s office, he responded that during the course of the investigations the keys were with the police.
“I’m putting it to you that the police took the keys from Mr. Jawara without any formalities,” said the defence counsel. “I don’t know,” responded PW1.
When Lawyer Drammeh put it to Sub Inspector Sanyang that the charge the accused was facing at the time of the report was in connection to the rural finance project, the witness replied in the positive.
“Did the police inform the Ministry of Agriculture that they were seizing one set of the keys to the CPCU Coordinator’s office?” asked the counsel for Mr. Jawara. “I don’t know,” responded Pw1.
“Was there an order from the police prohibiting anyone entering the CPCU Coordinator’s office?” The witness answered, “I don’t know.”
“During the course of the investigations do you know that Permanent Secretary No. 2, Mr. Sheriffo Bojang, was present at CPCU when the cylinder of the lock was being changed?” The witness answered, “I don’t know about that.”
“Can you tell the court the extent of damage caused to the cylinder of the lock?” The witness answered, “We visited the place in days and discovered that the cylinder of the office was already replaced and there were no sign of damages to the door.”
“There was never any damage to the lock or the door,” said the counsel for the accused. “I wouldn’t know because we visited the place in days after the cylinder was replaced,” responded PW1.
At this stage, the matter was adjourned to 8th of this month for continuation.
Prior to the commencement of cross-examination, Inspector Almameh Manga reminded the court that at the last adjourned date, the prosecution sought to tender the investigation report but that the counsel for the accused person objected on its admissibility on grounds that he wanted some time to peruse the report and that they were ordered to by the Court avail him the said report and which was complied with.
Lawyer Drammeh informed the court that he was not objecting to the report anymore and that consequently the said report was admitted and marked as exhibit B.
Readers could recall that police prosecutors are alleging that Mr. Ebrima Jawara on the 24th of November, 2015 at Central Projects Coordinating Unit Office (CPCU) situated at the Ministry of Agriculture, without lawful authority, changed the lock of the Coordinator’s office and thereby committed an offence. However, Mr. Jawara has pleaded not guilty as charged and was accordingly granted bail.