By Nelson Manneh
Baboucar Mbye Adama Saine, a nurse from the Serrekunda General Hospital yesterday, February 6th 2019, testified before the High Court in Banjul, in the NIA 9 case.
Mr Saine said Ebrima Solo Sandeng died before he was even brought to hospital; that the hospital did not provide a death certificate for the late Sandeng, because he did not die at the hospital.
Mr. Saine said he works as an administrator and oversees the medical records department. He said his responsibilities include assisting the chief executive officer of the hospital in his day to day operations and to monitor the hospital’s service and delivery systems. Mr Saine said he supervises at the hospital and has been working in the medical field for the past fifteen years.
Mr Saine is the 30th Prosecution Witness (PW 30), in the ongoing criminal trial involving former intelligence chiefs on the alleged murder of late Solo Sandeng and the numerous offenses of conspiracy to commit felony, assault causing grievous bodily harm, and making false documents among others, in which they all denied wrongdoing.
Mr Saine testified before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara that he lives in Sanchaba Sulayjobe, and works at the Serrekunda General Hospital now referred to as Kanifing Hospital. He said the name of the hospital changed in May 2018.
During his testimony, Mr Saine said the hospital is basically divided into five wards; that all the wards can issue death certificates. He said he appeared in the Court in connection with the death certificate seen on social media platforms, bearing the name of the Solo Sandeng, and the name of Lamin Lang Sanyang, the 9th accused person who signed it.
PW 30 said the hospital received a letter from the Inspector General of Police; that what they did was to call the head of the unit responsible for verification of the death certificate. He said when they checked the book, they observed that a page was detached from it.
PW 30 said they then replied to the Inspector General of Police in connection with the letter and confirmed to him that the death certificate was extracted from the Accident and Emergency Department records book.
Mr Saine said the book that contains the death certificates always has two copies. He said the original copy is given to the family of the deceased and the duplicate copy remains in the hospital. He added that when the book is filled, it is returned to the medical records unit where it is kept. Mr Saine said the nurses working in that ward and the medical officer, have access to the book.
The witness told the Court that he knew Lamin Lang Sanyang; that they were trained together and Lamin Lang Sanyang was his senior; that they trained together as SRN’s at the School.
“Do you know where Lamin Lang Sanyang worked?” asked Lawyer Antouman Gaye.
The witness responded in the positive adding that Lamin Lang Sanyang worked at the Serrekunda General Hospital now referred to as the Kanifing Hospital, as well as the NIA.
The book where death certificates were recorded was tendered and marked as exhibit N. Mr Saine said the book bears serial number 15511600 and contains 50 certificates.
Looking at the book, the witness told the Court that the book was not complete; adding seven copies were missing from the book. The witness said Lamin Lang Sanyang works at the Accident and Emergency Department of Kanifing Hospital; that the death certificate book was from that department. Mr. Saine added that the Doctor who certifies the death of a patient is the one who should sign the certificate; that the name of the deceased on the death certificate bearing the serial number 1595, was Ebrima Solo Sandeng’s certificate, and it bears the signature of Lamin Lang Sanyang.
“Do you have any Doctor by the name Lamin Lang Sanyang?” asked the prosecutor Lawyer Gaye. In his reply, the witness answered in the negative.
He said death certificates are issued to patients who passed away at the hospital; that Ebrima Solo Sandeng did not die at the hospital and Lamin Lang Sanyang was not authorized to sign any death certificate.
The accused persons in the case are Yankuba Badjie, an ex-director of the NIA, Sheikh Omar Jeng, an ex-director of operations at the NIA, Baboucar Sallah, Haruna Suso, Tamba Mansareh, Lamin Darboe, and Lamin Lang Sanyang. The 2nd accused person, Louise Gomez, an ex-deputy director of the said agency, died whilst under the custody of the State, during the course of this trial. However, Yusupha Jammeh, the 6th accused person was acquitted by the Court upon the State’s application for his acquittal.
The case was adjourned to 11th of March 2019 at 1 pm for the continuation of hearing.