7 February 2013

Gambia: Marabout Denies Robbery Charge

Momodou Salieu Suma, who claimed to be a marabout and hairdresser residing in Dippa Kunda, was on Tuesday arraigned before the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

The marabout, whose case was presided over by Justice Emmanuel Nkea, is alongside one Baboucarr Jammeh, facing robbery and theft charges, contrary to the Laws of The Gambia. He denied the charges and this denial was contained in his defence evidence in court.

According to Suma, he operates a salon where he dresses women's hair besides being a marabout, administering traditional medicine for his clients. The witness cum accused person said he came to know the complainant, Salimatou Jallow through his job as a marabout. He explained that the said Salimatou Jallow approached him to help her with medicine for her sick child. He said he charged her D1500, but the complainant said she could not pay that amount, instead she offered to pay D250 plus a mobile phone.

Asked how true the allegation was, he replied in the negative and also denied committing the offence with his co-accused. He said he doesn't know his co-accused, despite being charged together with the same offence.

"The woman accused me of being responsible for the loss of her mobile phones and the police confronted me on the matter," he recounted.

According to him, an officer called Saidou Joof recorded a statement from him, after which he was asked to sign. He added that he was not aware of the presence of any independent witness at the time of recording the said statement and that he did not write it.

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