ASP Pa Amadou Sowe, a police officer attached to the Kotu Police Station has said that he saw men dressed like women. Sowe made this revelation on Thursday, June 14th 2012, while testifying as the second prosecution witness (PW2) in the trial of the 18 alleged homosexuals and 2 other alleged lesbians before Principal Magistrate Sheriff Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court.
It could be recalled that the accused persons were charged with indecent act, contrary to the Laws of The Gambia. In his testimony, ASP Sowe said, on April 6th 2012 while he was duties at the said station, he received a call from his officer commanding, Superintendent Fulo Mbye who told him that he had received an information that there were a group of boys who were suspected to be homosexuals and they were having a party at Elite Fitness Center behind Duplex. The witness said he then left with Detective Abdoulie Sowe (PW1) and Detective Abdoulie Dibba for the scene. He said upon their arrival around 22:00hrs to 23:00 hours, they packed their car outside and entered the Elite Fitness Centre.
The witness further said that he then saw many boys at the scene dressed like women, hanging bags and dancing to the drums. He stressed that Kebba Ceesay, the 2nd accused walked towards Detective Abdoulie Sowe and he saw them talking but they later went outside, which prompted him (the witness) to ask Abdoulie Dibba to follow and observe them outside. Sowe said he also followed them and upon arrival, he found Kebba Ceesay arguing with Abdoulie Sowe (PW1) as to why he took pictures of their activity and also told him to delete the pictures since he (Kebba) did not invite any photographer to the program.
The witness asserted that this was the time ASP Abdoulie Sowe (PW1) identified himself to the 2nd accused as a police officer and they arrested him (Ceesay). The witness disclosed that he then called the officer commanding (OC) to send them a task force which he did and upon their arrival at the scene, the boys saw them and started running away but they managed to arrest 17 boys and 13 girls and items; such as clothes and make-ups were recovered from the scene.
He finally said after arresting them, they took them to Kotu Police Station before they were being transferred to Kairaba Police Station.
He concluded that statements were obtained from the girls who disclosed that they were invited by Kebba Ceesay, the 2nd accused person.
Responding to questions posed to him by defence counsel L.S Camara, who is representing all the accused persons except the 5th, 10th, 13th, 17th, 16th, 19th and 20th accused, the witness answered that the accused persons organised a party involving male and female but did not know the number of boys and girls present. He also said that the accused persons in court were the very ones he saw at the party and that 10 out of the 13 girls were released.
The prosecutor, Chief Inspector A. Jammeh at that juncture announced the presence of another witness, PW3 to testify. Sergeant 1841 Lamin Drammeh, a police officer attached to the Serrekunda Police Station narrated that on the 6th April 2012 between the hours of 22:00 hours and 23:00 hours, while on a night vehicle patrol with his team, he received a telephone call from his boss, Deputy Commissioner Bojang, who told him that he received an information from Superintendent Fulo Mbye informing him (deputy commissioner) of a homosexual programme that night around Duplex in Kololi.
The witness said he left with his colleagues to the place and upon their arrival, everyone present at the scene started running away. He explained that one of the accused persons, Ebrima Jallow, was taken to the car but later escaped and got caught by the task force. He said they arrested 16 of them. He said they recovered some bags containing some make-ups and women appearances.
The witness concluded that the boys were escorted to Kotu Police Station and they later took them to Kairaba Police Station, where they were cautioned and charged with an unnatural act. During cross-examination by defence counsel L.S Camara, the witness said upon their arrival, there was no drumming and dancing but everyone was running away.
Hearing continues on the 28th June 2012, at 2pm.