Lieutenant Ansumana Sanyang an oddly to President Jammeh, yesterday testified as the first prosecution witness before Magistrate Momodou M.S Jallow of the Banjul Magistrates' court in the ongoing alleged Conspiracy, Store breaking and stealing of rice case involving three ex-private soldiers namely; Abdoulie Sanyang, Lamin Sanneh, Modou .L. Drammeh and a civilian, Daniel Balukan.
PW1 testified that he lives in Serrekunda and a soldier by occupation. He said he is attached to the State Guard Battalion and oddly to the President, at the same time he a store keeper.
When asked by Police prosecutor Corporal Alpha Badjie what was contained in the store, the witness responded that it contained bags of 30Kg rice; adding that the store is located at Buckle street in Banjul.
At this juncture, the prosecutor asked the witness to look at the accused persons and tell the court whether he knows or recognized any of them. In reply, the witness said he knew the three soldiers but recognized the 4th accused person Daniel Balukan. He said he knew the soldiers at State House and on the 4th of February, 2013 on his way to work early in the morning he met with a vehicle (Gelegele) at Buckle and Cameroon Street carrying the said rice with registration number BJL 6312G. He added that upon meeting with the said vehicle, he put the registration number of the vehicle in record.
When asked whether he has the record with him, he responded in the affirmative.
The prosecution at this stage applied for the witness to refresh his memory from the records he took but defence counsel for Abdoulie Sanyang, Emmanuel E. Chime objected for the witness to refresh his memory on a document that was yet to be tendered in evidence as exhibit. He added that law and procedure forbids the witness perusing through the document as it was not part of the court records. He said the prosecution should tender it in evidence if he wants the witness to peruse through the document.
Replying on points of law, corporal Badjie submitted to the court that he is relying on Section 3 of the Evidence Act and urged the court to rule in favour of the prosecution.
Mr. Chime submitted that the section cited by the prosecution is centred on relevancy and admissibility of a document; adding that he doesn't know where the document is emanating from.
Delivering his ruling, the trial Magistrate ruled that refreshing a witness memory can be resorted by simple reference to any material which was in custody of the witness. He therefore upheld the application of the prosecution and asked the witness to disclose the registration number of the vehicle.
Hearing continues on Monday 25th at 4pm and Wednesday 27th of this month respectively.
According to the particulars of offence, the aforesaid persons in the month of January and February 2013, at Buckle Street in the city of Banjul conspired and stole 250
bags of (30Kgs) rice valued at D112,500.00,being the properties of the Gambia Government, thereby committed an offence.
Count Two; statement of offence states that Store breaking, contrary to section 283 (a) of the Criminal code, laws of the Gambia.
The particulars of offence on count two states that Abdoulie Sanyang and Lamin Sanneh (1st and 2nd accused) on or about the 30th day of January 2013, at Buckle Street in the city of Banjul broke and entered into the store of the Gambia Government to wit, stealing, thereby committed an offence.
On the third count, the prosecution alleges that the duo on or about the 30th of January 2013, at Buckle Street in the city of Banjul, stole 10 bags of 30kgs rice valued at 4500.00 the properties of the Gambia Government, thereby committed an offence.
Count four states that Abdoulie Sanyang, Lamin Sanneh and Modou .L. Drammeh on or about the 3rd day of February 2013, at the same street in the same city stole 80 bags of 30kgs rice valued at 36,000, the properties of the Gambia Government, thereby committed an offence.
According to the particulars of offence on count five, Lamin Sanneh on or about the 4th of February 2013, at Buckle Street stole 160 bags of 30kgs rice valued at D72,000, the properties of the Gambia Government, thereby committed an offence.
All accused persons pleaded not guilty as charged.