28 November 2012

Gambia: Ex-Drug Officer Foday Barry Faces More Charges

Foday Barry, former Director of Intelligence and Investigations at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDEA) was on Tuesday 27th of November arraigned before Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe on two additional charges in the ongoing criminal trial involving him and his Co. accused Pa Habib Mbye, former Crime Management Coordinator of the same agency.

The Prosecution has further alleged that Mr. Barry has 'Abused his Office and stealing' contrary to the laws of The Gambia. He pleaded not guilty as charged.

According to the particulars of offence on count five; Alh. Foday Barry between the years of 2010 and 2012 in the city of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of The Gambia abused the functions of his office by demanding an amount of 200,000 Euros from one Robert Danquah through one Ousman Drammeh in order to grant him bail thereby committed an offence.

Count six particulars of offence stated that the said person between the same year and month in the City of Banjul and diverse places in the republic of The Gambia with intent to defraud and permanently deprive the owner, stole an amount of D12,000 and a TOSHIBA Lab Top belonging to one Ousman Drammeh of Dippa Kunda thereby committed an offence.

Prior to the arraignment of the first accused on the additional charges, Police Prosecutor, Almameh Manga made an application under section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to amend the charge sheet with an additional count.

The application was upheld by the trial Magistrate; adding that the bail of the accused persons is extended.

Continuing with the cross examination of PW4, counsel for the accused persons, Uzuma Achibue asked the witness whether he knows the business Robert Danquah does, he responded in the negative.

You don't also know what business he does in The Gambia, inquired counsel?

"No", replied the witness.

Further answering questions asked by counsel, the witness informed the court that he did meet Danquah before going to his hotel room. He added that he won't know whether Danquah was involved in drug dealing.

Mr. Drammeh disclosed to the court that at the time Danquah asked him to intervene for his bail, he was also in detention.

"How many statements did you make all together with regards to this matter?"

"It should be three statements", said Drammeh. He added that the first statement was obtained at Holgam in 2012 whilst the second statement was obtained at the NIA headquarters and the last one was obtained by the Police on the 14th of November, 2012.

According to the witness, his second statement was when both accused persons were having problem.

When asked by counsel whether he made the said statement after his arrest with Danquah at Just for You Hotel, he responded in the affirmative.

Are you aware that during that period there was an investigation, he asked?

"Yes", replied the witness. He said he is also aware that after that investigation, there was a re-investigation; adding that he was called as a witness in respect to the statements he wrote.

At this juncture, counsel put it to the witness that Danquah never asked for bail but the witness insisted that he did ask for bail.

Mr. Drammeh testified that he did not know whether Foday Barry had only one key to the safe out of the whole keys. He said he did not also know whether the monies together with the lap top were forfeited to the state.

The witness finally agreed with counsel that at the time of their arrest, the laptop he took to Danquah no longer belonged to him since he already collected the money.

At this juncture, Manga applied for adjournment to enable him call other witnesses but counsel Achibue quickly objected on grounds that the matter had suffered series of setbacks. He argued that adjournments are not matter of right but it is at the discretion of the court.

Sergeant Manga informed the court that the witness he intend to call is out of the jurisdiction and he is to arrive in Banjul on Friday night. He finally prayed for the indulgence of the court for the matter to be adjourned to Monday 3rd December, 2012.

The application was upheld by the trial magistrate and the matter was subsequently adjourned to Monday 3rd December, 2012. The magistrate ruled that failure to produce the witness on the said date, the matter shall be closed.

Readers would recall that the duo were first arraigned on four criminal count charges of conspiracy to commit felony, stealing, making false documents and uttering false documents.

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