17 January 2013

Gambia: Intelligence Officer Testifies in Former GPA MD Case

The head of the Intelligence at the Gambia Ports Authority {GPA}, Ebou Gibba, yesterday (16 January) testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3) in the ongoing false information trial involving Abdoulie Tambedou, former GPA Managing Director before Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

According to the witness, in the month of May 2012 they caught a 20 liters gallon of fuel with one Ansuman Sillah and that it was since at that time when they started to have problem with the accused as he was the then MD. He added that around July 2012 they caught one clearing agent whom he said stole 3 bags of sugar from a container. He said the accused person went to collect his {Gibba} guards and the sugar from the police station.

PW3 further told the court that he wrote a memo bearing the letter head of GPA and sent it to the office of the accused but Mr. Tambedou did not respond to the said memo. He said one of his guards was later called to the police station and he escorted him. According to him, the Police officer said that they will detain the guard.

When asked by police prosecutor Sergeant Almamy Manga if he can identify the said document, the witness responded in the affirmative. The prosecution therefore applied to tender the memorandum in evidence as exhibit and was admitted by the court when no objection was raised by defence counsel Lamin S. Camara for the admissibility of the said document.

The witness testified that he wrote another memo in connection to the theft of sugar which was also admitted and marked accordingly.

Further responding to questions under his evidence in chief, Gibba informed the court that he doesn't know the charges preferred against the accused person, adding that during investigations into this matter he was called at the Major Crime at Police headquarters in Banjul around the 24th of August 2012 and was informed about the petition written by the accused person to the office of the President.

Under cross examination, Camara asked the witness whether they have a line manager in their department, he responded in the positive. The witness admitted that none of the exhibits were addressed to their immediate line manager.

When asked by counsel as to who their department is answerable to, he said they are answerable to the security manager.

Camara further quizzed the witness why then didn't he write to the security manager before jumping the gun, the witness said during the time of the incidents there was no security manager but there was a security overseer. He added that he did not write to the overseer because incidents of such nature were happening but he was not taking any actions.

At this juncture, counsel Camara put it to the witness that the accused stepped into the matter of the alleged theft of sugar pursuant to the complained made by the witness but the witness denied that statement, adding that other culprits were still at large during investigations.

"Because you were investigating, so the accused should not step in the matter?" asked counsel.

Yes replied the witness.

Camara then asked the witness why did they write exhibit P3 when the matter was still being investigated, the witness in response said it was written after the investigation in respect of the alleged theft of sugar which was said to had occurred at GPA.

Mr. Gibba denied implicating his guards as contained in exhibit P3.

Defence counsel Camara further put it to the witness that he will agree with him that it is the responsibility of the accused person to take steps in matters of this kind if reported to him. PW3 responded in the affirmative.

The defence finally asked the witness to hold the two exhibits and tell the court whether they indicated anywhere that upon completion of their investigations the accused can take steps, he responded in the negative.

Hearing continues today at 2:30pm.

Copyright © 2013 FOROYAA Newspaper. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.