Ebou Badjie, the Assistant Registrar at the General Registry office of the Ministry of Justice yesterday continued his testimony as the first prosecution witness in the three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining goods by false pretence and theft against Tina Faal.
In the last sitting, before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, Badjie said in his testimony that some of the conditions attached to the registration of Power of Attorney are that it has to be endorsed by a legal minded person, a Justice of Peace, notary public or lawyer. He said it must also have a Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) stamp and a fee of D500.
Further in his testimony yesterday, the witness told the court that when his office sent a Power of Attorney to the General Registry office, the registrar would go through it and would endorse by appending it if he/she is satisfied with it.
According to him, the Power of Attorney of the accused person was endorsed by the Registrar General with serial number: 196/2014/ Volume 33PA. He identified the accused person’s Power of Attorney certificate through its serial number and copy of the certified registrar in 2014.
The police prosecutor then applied to tender it in evidence to be marked as an exhibit and without objection by the defence counsel; it was tendered and marked as exhibit A.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel C Gaye, Badjie said exhibit A was certified on 23rd August 2016, and that it is true that when individuals come to register a document at the Registrar General’s office, they are normally requested to tender the original document.
He admitted that the accused person’s original Power of Attorney document was registered in 2014 and that document was under their custody but that during investigation into the matter, it might be somewhere at the moment.
He said they do not keep original documents; that they only keep the duplicates and the originals are given to the owners.
When defence counsel Gaye put to him that the original copy of the Power of Attorney bearing serial number: 196/2014/ Volume 33PA was given to investigators that is why he did not have the original one under his custody at the moment, Badjie responded that he cannot remember everything that transpired when the matter first came to his notice.
He told the court that exhibit A is not the original copy of the Power of Attorney but a certified copy by the Registrar General dated 7th May, 2014.
He said they could not have access to the duplicated copy of the Power of Attorney, saying they only have its photocopy which was certified by the Registrar General and that he got it from their records office.
Badjie further maintained that he is very consistent in his answers, saying he uses the original copy of the Power of Attorney and compared it with the photocopied one under discussion.
Tina Faal is accused of conspiring with one Babanding Sissoho, to wit, sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft to one Alhagie Omar Keita with intent to defraud, sometime between 2014 and 2016 in Banjul and diverse places. The aircraft is said to be the property of O’ Corporation Company Ltd.
With intent to defraud, she is also charged for selling various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff sale to one Alhagie Omar Keita when she fully knew or had reason to believe that the said flight was sold by the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction.
On count three, she is said to have, with intent to permanently deprive through fraudulence, stolen and sold various parts of Boeing 727-234 SN 2216-55V TPA aircraft belonging to O’ Corporation Company Ltd of Ireland by Sheriff sale to Alhagie Omar Keita, when she fully knew or had reason to believe that the said flight was bought by O’ Corporation Company from the Sheriff of The Gambia by way of public auction. She had denied culpability of all the charges.
The case is adjourned to 25th August 2016 for continuation of hearing.
by Lama S Jallow