Ex-IGP Badjie testifies in Bun Sanneh & Co trial
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Ensa Badjie, the jailed former inspector general of police, yesterday, Wednesday, 11th April 2012 testified as a defence witness in the ongoing criminal trial involving Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, former executive director of National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA); Karamo Bojang; Ousman Sanneh; Marie Sanneh and Seedou Bojang before the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Nkea.
The former IGP stated that he became the inspector general of police in 2008 and was removed on the 2nd March 2010. According to him, sometime in 2009, whilst the 1st accused, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh was still the executive director of NDEA, whose office was located directly behind the police headquarters in Banjul, he heard an abnormal noise in his office which prompted him to enquire what was going on.
He said looked through the window and saw a large crowd coming towards the Arab Gambian Islamic Bank (AGIB) to the police headquarters. Badjie further stated that he saw a tall naked fellow running towards the police headquarters and was being chased by some NIA officials.
The defence witness revealed that as he looked down, he recognised the tall naked fellow to be one Lamin Karbo, a drug squad officer, resident of Brikama, bleeding with injuries all over his body.
The ex-IGP further revealed that within the crowd, he recognised Alhagie Morr Jobe, Faburama Drammeh and other NIA officials chasing the said Lamin Karbo who ran into the NDEA office.
The witness disclosed that after a while the 1st accused, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh came to his office and as he wanted to explain, he (Ensa Badjie) told him that he saw everything with his eyes.
The defence witness further disclosed that he then suggested that the then director general of the NIA, Lamin BO Badjie be contacted. He adduced that when he called the then NIA DG, Lamin BO Badjie, he, the DG replied that he was not going to meet them,because he (Ensa) never made any appointment to meet him(BO Badjie). Badjie further adduced that the then NIA DG Lamin BO Badjie then sent his assistant, Mr Hydra to receive them and took them to one of the offices at the NIA headquarters.
At the said office, Ensa Badjie testified that Lamin Karbo and Lamin Simma were brought in by Alhagie Morr Jobe, Faburama Drammeh, Lamin Darboe and another man whose name he could not remember.
Ensa Badjie adduced that the moment Lamin Karbo was brought into the said office, he could not stand but fell on the floor. He said Alhagie Morr Jobe informed them that as they went for an operation, they accidentally arrested both Lamin Karbo and Lamin Simma having caught them with suspected illicit drugs.
Ex-IGP Badjie further said as he demanded to see the said illicit drugs, they (Alhagie Morr Jobe and others) then showed him some fertilizers. He said he then admonished the deputy director general of the NIA, Mr Hydara to release both Lamin Karbo and Lamin Simma at that moment.
Testifying further, the jailed ex-IGP disclosed that few months later, the 1st accused, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh informed him that one Ousman Nyang had been arrested with some cocaine and 45,000 Euros, suspected to be fake. He explained that upon the receipt of the said information, a panel was set up, comprising the NIA, the police and Drug Squad officials to investigate the matter.
Ensa Badjie revealed that during investigation the said currencies were sent to the Central Bank of The Gambia for verification and an analytical report was issued, indicating that the said currencies were all fake. Badjie revealed that he called the 1st accused and showed him the said report. During the said investigation, he said, the said Ousman Nyang informed the panel that the fake Euros were given to him by Alhagie Morr Jobe.
Ensa Badjie further adduced that a case file was compiled, together with the opinion and exhibits, sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers. The said file, he disclosed was received by the then DPP, Richard Chenge, who signed and advised that they be charged with the offence of conspiracy to commit felony and possession of fake currencies.
Ensa Badjie pointed out thatRichard Chenge’s advice was served on the NIA, so as Alhagie Morr Jobe be brought to the police for prosecution. He however noted that Alhagie Morr Jobe was never charged with the said offense. The defence witness disclosed that all those dealings were communicated to the then minister of Interior, Ousman Sonko.
Ensa Badjie adduced that after a while, the then DPP Chenge came to his office to lodge a complaint that he had been threatened and attacked by Alagie Moore Jobe.
Ensa Badjie disclosed that he called the present NIA DG, Numo Kujabi, and the then Interior minister Ousman Sonko and informed them about the happenings and the complaint lodged by Richard Chenge, but Alagie Moore Jobe was never charged, until he left his office and taken to the Mile Two Prisons.
Ensa Badjie told the court that he made a statement in connection to the torture of Lamin Karbo and Lamin Simma and the fake currencies at Holgam. He asserted that Alagie Morr Jobe, Lamin Darboe, Faburama Drammeh and Omar Cham are fond of torturing people and he had warned them to stop.
Responding to questions posed to him by DDPP, S.H Barkun during cross-examination, Ensa Badjie confirmed that he has a working relation with the 1st accused, Ibrahim Bun Sanneh, adding that the 1st accused was appointed the DG of NDEA some years before he assumed office as the Inspector General of Police.
He disclosed that during his tenure as the IGP, he has had rough time with the 1st accused Ibrahim Bun Sanneh and they normally ended up at the Interior minister’s office.
Badjie further disclosed that some of the issues are related to over detention and feeding of drug squad trial prisoners and the usage of the parking lots for the police by officials of the drug squad.
He pointed out that some drug suspects detained at the police cells are fed by the police and he used to complain and ask the 1st accused to give the police the number of their suspects in the police cells.
Asked about the relationship between the police and the NIA, Ensa Badjie replied that the police relationship with other sister security operatives is cordial, but ultra vires with the NIA. “Even one of my police officers was interrogated by the NIA and he died there,” he remarked.
Ensa Badjie adduced that the particular group of investigators like Alhagie Morr Jobe, Lamin Darboe, Faburama Drammeh, Omar Cham are cruel and evil. Badjie told the court that Alhagie Morr Jobe had never worked under him. Defence witness Badjie stated that prior to Lamin Karbo and the fake Euro incident, he never had any cause to investigate cases with the likes of Alhagie Morr Jobe.
Ensa Badjie pointed out that investigations were normally done by his junior officers, whilst he was the IGP. He further told the court that Alhagie Morr Jobe had also involved in another traffic incident. This time, he revealed that it was at Palma Rima Hotel junction at about 5:00am when theJobe got involved in a motor accident and pulled out a revolver and threatened to kill the police officers at the check point at the said junction.
Badjie further revealed that he called the present NIA DG, who came to the scene and thereafter went to Kotu Police Station at the time. Ensa Badjie adduced that Alhagie Morr Jobe had been involved in several criminal offences and he was sometime placed at the police cells. Badjie maintained that he briefed the then minister of Interior orally about Jobe’s ordeals.
Badjie pointed out that the truth of his evidence could be buttressed by the number of criminal cases hanging over Alhagie Morr Jobe. He cited the case of IGP versus AlhagieMorr Jobe before Bundung Magistrates’ Court, another one, the state versus Alhagie Morr Jobe, Faburama Drammeh, Lamin Darboe before the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe.
Ensa Badjie denied DDPP’s claims that his evidence about the NIA operatives like Alhagie Morr Jobe, Faburama Drammeh, Lamin Darboe and Omar Cham were not made out of hatred against them, but truth.
Meanwhile, the other defence witness, Haddijatou Jaiteh, a resident of Brufut and an assistant registrar at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court confirmed that she was sub-poenoed to produce certain documents. The documents are files of NDEA versus Maimuna Jallow and Pa Modou Khan, NDEA versus Ousman Jatta alias Etoe and NDEA versus Manjang Janko.
The said files were tendered and admitted as defence exhibit 9, 9A and 9B respectively. The assistant registrar,however indicated that the case involving NDEA versus Manjang Janko is still pending.
Author: Sidiq Asemota