‘The accusations against Rongo & Efry Mbye are false’
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Malang Badjie, the ‘chairman’ of the Council of Elders in Banjulinding, Monday told the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, presided over by Principal Magistrate Taiwo Ade Alagbe, that the accusations against Rongo and Efry Mbye are false.
Badjie made this remark while giving evidence in the criminal trial involving the state against Momodou Rongo Jarju and Abdoulie Efry Mbye at the said court. In his testimony, Badjie said that it was him and some other elders that instructed Baboucarr Jeng to write a congratulatory letter to the president but it was not the 1st accused person (Rongo).
According to him, when the letter was sent to the Office of the President, there was a response letter sent back to them, which he (Badjie) collected from State House. He revealed that after receipt of the letter there was a meeting held at the ‘Bantaba’ where the letter from the Office of the President was read and in response, Imam Yaya Bah and Landing Conteh said it was a false letter, adding that the letter was read by the first accused (Rongo).
He further informed the court that they (the elders) were all called to the office of the NDEA in Kanifing, where they were informed that Imam Bah and Landing Conteh reported the matter. After a while, he said, the officers gave them a date to return to their office.
disclosed that another letter was written by Baboucarr Jeng under the
instruction of the elders and he handed over the letter to Rongo to take to Pa
Malick Faye, the managing director of Observer Company for publication, but
Rongo gave the said letter to Efry Mbye who was going to Kanifing to deliver
the letter to Pa Malick Faye.
Badjie said they wanted peace in Banjulinding and to achieve this everybody in the village have to handle their land and leave others’. This, he said, was the reason they wrote to the Office of the President.
During cross-examination of the witness by the prosecutor ASP Sanyang, the court was informed that apart from the letters of congratulations to the president, there was another one against Eric Tundeh Janneh three years previously and it was Baboucarr Jeng who wrote it under the instruction of the Council of Elders.
He denied the prosecution’s claim that he denied knowledge of anything about the case at the NDEA and that was why he (Badjie) was freed, by saying that it is not true. He finally said that he is not aware that Rongo sent the information of the letter to Pa Malick Faye through email and that he hates Eric Tundeh Janneh due to his leadership approach.
The case was adjourned to 11th July 2012 for the second accused to open defence.
Author: Fatou Sowe