Oley Jallow, a medical doctor at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital yesterday testified as third prosecution witness in the case of Ebrima B Njie and Edrissa Manga who are under trial before acting Principal Magistrate Kebba Baldeh of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court on charges of aiding a prisoner to escape and negligence of official duties.
Njie and Manga are alleged to have negligently permitted Abdoulie Ceesay, the Managing Director of Teranga FM to escape from their lawful custody while on duty on 19th April 2016 at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul.
They are also alleged to have wilfully neglected to perform their duty to wit, keep custody of Abdoulie Ceesay while on duty on 19th April 2016 at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul.
In her evidence-in-chief, the witness informed the court that on 20th April 2016, a remand prisoner who was admitted at a private block at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul escaped.
She said the prisoner was admitted at the hospital on 13th April 2016 but said at around 2am on April 20th, he escaped and they (at the hospital) immediately informed those on duty and she (witness) was one of those on duty. She said that remanded prison’s name was Abdoulie Ceesay.
According to her, when she received the information of the prisoner escape, she relayed the information to the consultancy who asked her to prepare a medical report about the escape. She said she immediately went to the private block and requested for the admission folder and wrote the report.
She said she prepared and printed four copies of the report. She said she sent one copy to the medical doctor, one to the consultant and one to the records office which, she said was given to NIA when they were carrying out investigation and kept one copy for herself.
The witness told the court that team A of the Internal Medicine Department were the doctors on duty when the alleged escape happens. She said those doctors were Dr Asemell Ramos; the consultant, Dr Isidoro Jones, Dr Abdoulie Gaba Darboe, Lamin Jammeh and herself. She however said that the escaped prisoner was admitted by Dr Abdoulie Darboe.
She explained that when the prisoner was admitted, his condition was reviewed by herself and the consultant and was diagnosed with hypertension and asthmatic diseases and he was forwarded to the private block for medication.
She revealed that there was a space constraint for beds that was why the patient was sent to the private block as there were other patients admitted on the same day.
According to her, the escaped prisoner was brought to the hospital with a heavy security escort, saying if she is shown the report that she prepared when the escape happens, she would be able to identify it through her name, the hospital stamp and the signatories.
The witness informed the court that she will also identify the medical report she prepared when the escape happened which prompted the state counsel L Jarju to apply for both the medical report and the patient description report which were both admitted and marked as exhibits A and B.
Under cross-examination, the witness asserted that on the night of the alleged escape she was on duty at the hospital until around 6am.
She also revealed that she cannot said exactly the distance between the cold room and where Abdoulie Ceesay was admitted but said it should be about six minutes walk.
The case is adjourned to 27th October 2016 at 11am for continuation of hearing.
by Lama S Jallow