Assistant Superintendent Abdoulie Bah, a Prison Officer at the Mile 2 Central Prison and the first prosecution witness in the trial of two prison wardens, has said that he does not know who is responsible for the escape of Abdoulie Ceesay, the former Managing Director of Teranga FM radio.
Giving his testimony under cross-examination by the defence counsel Lawyer Patrick Gomez before acting Principal Magistrate Kebba Baldeh at the Banhjul Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Bah said he is an investigative prison officer.
He said Abdoulie Ceesay was admitted in Ward Room number 9 at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul but he does not know who exactly was the nurse attending him at the time of the alleged escape.
Ebrima B Njie and Edrissa Manga are now standing trial for negligently permitting Abdoulie Ceesay 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.
Bah testified that it was not his duty to find out who was the nurse in charge of the escaped prisoner at the time of the alleged incident, saying there are limits to his investigation.
When asked by defence counsel Gomez whether it was prudent to find out who the nurse attendant was at the time of the alleged incident, Bah responded in the negative, adding that the nurse they found there was not the one in charge and that he does not know the exact time the escape occurred. He maintained that he does not know the visiting hours of the hospital.
Bah further testified that he does not know that at the night of the alleged escape, a woman visited the prisoner (Abdoulie Ceesay) at around 9pm, stating that he does not also know that before the escape, when the accused persons came to relief their colleagues they found that woman there.
He said he knows one Chief Kalilou, a prison officer and it was true that he (Kalilou) is in charge of posting prison wardens.
Bah admitted that it was correct that the accused persons have less than 2 years experience in the service, adding that it depends on the chief officer who assigns prison wardens outside posting practice.
The witness also admitted that it was correct that the prisoner escape case was the first outside mission of the accused persons and that they have internal rules governing the procedure of a report of escape prisoners.
When asked by the defence counsel whether it was correct to say that he does not know how the prisoner escaped, Bah said he never said how the prisoner escaped.
When put to him that at the night of the escape, Chief Kalilou had visited the escaped prisoner, Bah responded that it might be possible because he is the chief officer. He also said after the investigation, he wrote a report which he said is with their authorities plus the medical report.
He however denied making any recommendation after the investigation and said he does not know the full name of Chief Kalilou.
The case is adjourned to 20th October 2016 at 10am for continuation of hearing.
by Lama S Jallow