13 March 2018

Gambia: In the NIA 9 Trial - Defence Plays Witness On Educational Proficiency

The Lawyer for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th accused persons in the NIA trial, Lawyer S. Fatty had a bitter argument with the 12th prosecution witness on his School Certificate.

When the case was called before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara of the Banjul High Court, the witness under cross examination by Lawyer S. Fatty, was asked to bring out his School Leaving and Vocational Certificates to Court. The witness brought out his certificate and was thoroughly looked at by all the defense lawyers.

Lawyer Fatty tendered the documents in Court and there was no objection from the prosecution. The certificates were admitted and marked as exhibits by the Court.

Lawyer S Fatty asked PW 12 the year he completed his Secondary education.

"The documents in my position I get them this year on the 7th day of March 2018", said PW 12.

Lawyer S Fatty said the last time PW12 appeared in court was on the 6th day of March 2018 and by that time, the witness was employed by the then NIA, and PW 12 responded in the positive. "Mr. Sonko I am putting it to you that these documents you presented to court are not from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC)," said Lawyer S Fatty.

Lawyer S Fatty said the documents Mr. Sonko produced in court are a transcript and testimonial. PW 12 responded that those were the documents that he got from his former School.

Lawyer S Farty said the document that PW 12 presented to Court were not the ones he used when he was applying to the then NIA office. In his response, PW 12 said these are the documents he got from his former school.

Lawyer S Fatty continued saying that the documents that were marked as defense exhibits, are not vocational documents.

Mr. Sonko said all that he has acquired from Vocational School is the document that he had in his possession.

"I am putting it to you that you don't present any Secondary School Certificate neither a Vocational document to the then NIA when you were applying for the job because if you have done so, your documents would have been in the file at the then NIA office," said Lawyer S Fatty.

Mr. Sonko reacted saying: "I went to the then NIA Office to request for my documents but I was told that they did not see my documents. This is why I went back to my former School to get these other documents."

"Who do you asked for when you went to the then NIA office to seek for your documents" asked Lawyer S Fatty.

PW 12 said he asked for one Ebrima Jammeh who is responsible for keeping their files; that he does not know the rank of Mr. Jammeh. Lawyer S Fatty asked for the original documents from PW 12 but the witness responded that the originals are with him in his office.

Prosecution Witness 13 (PW13) said he recalled on 14th April 2016, when the late Solo Sandeng and others were brought to the NIA; that they were screened at the main gate, while Solo Sandeng and others were placed in a cell and others were placed in a small door at the entrance of the main gate.

"James asked them to screen the suspects at the gate and after the screening. Solo Sandeng took out his clothess, chewing stick, finger ring and the sum of D2, 586 and placed them on the table. I took inventory of the items and later they were taken inside by the accused persons, Tamba Mansary and Baboucarr Sallah" he said.

The witness said at the time Solo Sandeng and Co. were brought at the NIA headquarters in Banjul, they were very tired with body pain; that Tamba Mansary and Baboucarr Sallah put Solo Sandeng and Kafu Bayo in a cell but could not recall who brought them to the NIA.

The case was adjourned to today at 1pm for continuation of hearing.


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