17 January 2013

Gambia: In Former GPA Boss' Trial - Head of GPA Security Testifies

One Ebou Gibba, the head of the Security and Intelligence Unit at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Wednesday testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3) in the criminal trial of Abdoulie Tambedou, the former managing director of the GPA, before Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

In his evidence-in-chief, PW3 informed the court that in the month of May 2012, they (the security officers) caught one Ansumana Sillah with a 20-litre gallon of gasoil. The said theft case he said, was made known to the accused person as the MD at the time, saying that he wrote a memo to the accused.

PW3 further told the court that around July 2012 they also caught one of the agents who broke into a container and stole three bags of sugar. He said he wrote a memo to the accused person informing him about the incident. According to him, the accused did not respond after he sent him the memo. He said one of his guards was called to Banjul Police Station and he escorted him but the police demanded his detention.

At that juncture, the witness was given the said memos, which he identified and they weretendered in evidence as exhibits P3 and P4 respectively. He said that he doesn't know the charges against the accused but in the month of August 2012 he was called to the Major Crime Unit in Banjul for questioning in connection to a petition written by the accused person to the Office of the President, complaining about rampantindiscipline at the ports authority, which was making the GPA ungovernable for him.

During cross examination of the witness by the defence counsel, Lawyer Lamin S Camara, PW3 informed that they have a line manager but he did not address exhibit P3 and P4 to the line manager. He said that he is answerable to the security manager and there was no security manager at the GPA at that time, as there was a security overseer.

He said it is not correct that the accused person took steps in the case of the sugar theft pursuant to the memo, exhibit P3, by taking the sugar and his (PW3) guards to the police, because by then the investigation was not completed. The witness said he wrote the memo (exhibit P3) after the completion of the investigation; that he did not implicate any of his guards in exhibit P3 and that there is no where in both exhibit P3 and P4 indicating that the investigation was completed.

The case was adjourned to 17th January 2013 for continuation of hearing.

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