By Nelson Manneh
Mamadi Lamin Kuyateh, the fourth defense witness (DW4) in the ongoing criminal trial involving one Isaac Ague and the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education Claudiana Cole, told the Brikama Magistrates Court on the 15th of January 2019 that the School in contention which is located in Busumbala, belongs to Isaac Ague the accused person. Kuyateh said this when he appeared before the said Court.
When the case was called before Magistrate N. Bless, Isaac Ague announced his presence, Sergent B. Jarju appeared for the Inspector General of Police whilst Mamadi Lamin Kuyateh (DW4), announced his presence.
Isaac Ague was charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant, contrary to Section 114 of the Criminal Code, Cap 10:01, Volume 3, Laws of the Gambia, Revise Edition 2009. Kuyateh told the Court that he was the driver of the accused person from 2004 to 2012, and was living in his house.
He said that Ague once told him that he got a plot of land in Busumbala. He added that the land was sold to him by villagers and wants to transfer Model Senior School from Brikama, to Busumbala.
Kuyateh told the Court that as a driver, he used to drive the accused person to the school and wait for him till when he closes.
“One day, the Regional Office brought a letter to the accused person that he should hand over the school because it was under dispute,” Kuyateh told the Court; that he advised Ague to take a lawyer and directed him to one Lawyer Mboge.
“The accused person later received another letter from the Governor’s Office, indicating that Ague should hand over the school or he will be forcefully removed from the school,” he said. According to him, the letter that came from the Governor’s office was given to Ague’s lawyer who responded to the then Governor.
The witness then tendered the two letters (a letter from the former Governor’s Office and the response of Lawyer Mboge to that letter) to the Court. They were accepted and marked as exhibits.
During cross-examination, Sergent B. Jarju who appeared for the Inspector General of Police put it to the witness that Ague was an employee of the late Mr. William Cole, the owner of the School.
DW4 averted that what he knew is that the school belongs to Ague.
When asked by Sergent Jarju whether he knew the name of the School as ‘Isaac Hague School’, DW4 responded in the negative. He noted that all he knows, is Model School is situated in Busumbala and belongs to Isaac Ague.
The matter was then adjourned to 22nd of January 2019, for DW5 to give testimony.