7 February 2013

Gambia: Foni Jarrol Nam Cross Examined in Former APRC Chairman's False Information Trial

The National assembly Member for Foni Jarrol Constituency, Honorable Borry Colley, yesterday continued to testify at the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by Magistrate Momodou Jallow in the ongoing false information trial involving former APRC chairman of the said constituency, Yaya Tamba,

who alleged in a petition to the President that the sugar distribution that took place in Foni Jarrol District was not performed fairly.

Continuing with the cross examination of Hon. Colley the accused person put it to the witness: "You did mention in the court that I did campaign for the Independent candidate." He then asked what his evidence is.

In response, the witness said his evidence is that the accused never attended the APRC rallies neither did he campaign for the said party.

"Nomination forms from the IEC are in the records and I believed you must base your allegations on records for that is my request", he demanded.

"You can request it from IEC", testified Colley.

I'm putting it to you that this is an allegation for I have never campaigned for the Independent candidate neither given my voter's card in support of the nomination of the Independent Candidate." But Colley insisted that as far as he is concerned, the accused was seen in Sintet Fula Kunda working with the Independent after nomination; adding that the accused also attended a rally at Sintet Kambabou.

"When did this rally take place", asked Tamba?

"This was after nominations at Brikama and during campaign period", responded Hon. Colley.

When Mr. Colley was asked to give dates, he said the date of the campaign can be found in the itinerary of the Independent Candidate because he does not belong to that group.

At this juncture, the accused person told the witness Borry Colley that the dates of the rally were on the 26th and 27th of March 2012 when he (Tamba) was in school. He therefore asked how was it possible that he attended the rally of the Independent candidate's campaign when he had signed his working time as a teacher.

In reply, the witness said it is possible because Mr. Tamba was seen at the airport on the 5th of February, 2013 whilst he was supposed to be in the classroom.

"What was I doing at the airport?" Asked Tamba, the accused.

Mr. Colley responded that the accused person wanted to shake hands with the President at the airport in order for the president to forgive him (Tamba) which he said was impossible.

Further testifying the witness informed the court that he is the desk officer responsible for all political activities within West Coast Region (WCR) so he said he is the door. He added that the accused person was the campaign chairman during the Presidential elections in Foni Jarrol until 2011 because he was in line with them, the APRC.

When asked about the counting agent of APRC in 2011 Presidential elections in Foni Jarrol Constituency, Hon. Colley said the accused was responsible for all activities until 2011.

According to the witness Borry Colley, the National Assembly member for the area, until 2011, there was solidarity and support to the APRC party; adding that even his wife did not nominate the president because they were looking for a certain figure and not all people of Foni Jarrol can nominate the head of state.

The accused person further informed the witness that in his fourth witness statement he made mention of a missing bag of sugar and asked him to explain how the bag got missing prior to the arrival of the Foni Jarrol consignment. Mr. Colley then responded and said that maybe the bag was missing from the loading point; adding the sugar that arrived was all in the balance sheet.

When asked by the accused whether any bag of sugar got missing from 2002 to 2011 from the said constituency, Colley said the accused is in a better position to know because he was distributing sugar for 10 years in the constituency.

Further asked by the accused person, the witness testified that no sugar was reported missing from the period 2002 to 2011 but admitted that a bag of sugar got missing in 2012 when he (Colley) was directly responsible which he said was reported to all the alkalos of the constituency.

Cross examination continues on the 13th of this month.

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