Gambia: Defence Opens Case in Yakumba Jaiteh's Trial

13 October 2021

Yusupha Jaiteh, who was charged along with Yakumba Jaiteh with obstruction and assault, yesterday testified before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court.

He stated that he is currently the Imam Ratib of Dippa Kunda. He noted that he was an accountant and currently lives at Dippa Kunda. He posited that he lived at Kololi before living at Dippa Kunda. He told the court that on the 6th October, 2020, he was sitting in the main compound in front of the building at home.

He revealed that earlier he had had dinner with the family. He said that Yakumba Jaiteh and his wife were in the main yard. He noted that Tijan Maucaley tried to go to his lodge. "While we were chatting, I heard some noise coming from the main gate. Upon listening carefully, I heard Tijan shouting that they were hurting him. I rushed to see what was happening," he testified.

He further narrated that while he was in front, Yakumba was behind. He added that on arrival at the gate, he found Tijan was accosted to the compound wall by two or three people and he asked what happened. "Nobody answered because they were busy beating Tijan. I did not realise what was happening until I saw Tijan in handcuffs. When we were able to separate them, they said they were officers when Yakumba arrived," he posited.

He noted that as more people came to the place, there was commotion. He added that his entire family was there including onlookers. He revealed further that more officers came from other junctions. He added that there was pulling and pushing. He said he talked to them to see what they could do about the matter.

He stated that Yakumba identified herself as a National Assembly Member. He noted that the officers were all the time insisted on arresting Tijan. He added that one of the officers produced some spray and sprayed the entire place to the extent that one of his family members fainted and she had to be taken to the hospital.

"The officers did not answer when I asked them whether they found anything on Tijan. Bai Saidy confirmed that nothing was found on Tijan. Bai Saidy lives around and he is a professional carpenter, and there were a lot of people," he told the court.

He stated that all the children of the house were present and that the officers sprayed everyone and the crowd dispersed. "I would have been blind if I had not worn my classes. The officers sprayed twice. It was not true that nobody sprayed," he averred.

He testified that the other officers went straight to Tijan and treated him badly when they arrived. He posited that they lifted Tijan up and threw him into a pick-up, his head landing first.

He will continue his testimony on the 2nd November, 2021.

ASP Jahateh, along with prosecutors Gibba and Kebbeh, represented the IGP, while Yankuba Darboe represented the accused persons.

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