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Friendship Hostel Receptionist Testifies In Kumba Sinyan’s Murder Trial

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Kumba Sinyan arriving at the high court on Tuesday on 6th December, 2022.

By Landing Ceesay

Ensa Touray, (PW3), a resident of Bakau Sanchaba, and a receptionist at the Friendship Hostel was the third prosecution witness called before Justice Sidi Jobarteh to testify in the highly charged murder trial of Ms. Kumba Sinyan (the accused) at the High Court of the Gambia.

It could be recalled that Ms. Kumba Sinyan, a 25-year-old businesswoman, was charged with murder contrary to section 187 of Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Revised Laws of the Gambia 2009.

Prosecutors alleged that the suspect on or about the 14th of September 2022 at The Friendship Hostel in Bakau, with malice aforethought, caused the death of one Lamarana Jallow by cutting his stomach with an object and thereby committed an offence punishable with death under section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.Mr. Touray testified that he has been working at the Friendship Hostel for five years and that Momodou Lamarana Jallow (deceased) has been a frequent visitor of the establishment. However, he cannot tell the court how long Lamarana has been visiting the Hostel.

When asked, “What happened on the 13th of September 2022?” Mr. Touray told the court that he went to work at the hostel on that date and arrived by 8pm to relieve his colleague from duties. He further testifies that between the hours of 8 and 9 pm, Lamarana Jallow walked in and asked to be checked into a room.

“I gave him Room 111 and about 20 minutes after his arrival, a lady (Kumba Sinyan) came in, she was dressed in black, black, wearing a mask and a black cap. She went directly to Room 111, knocked on the door, and Lamarana (deceased) opened it for her. She (Kumba Sinyan) was in the room until I closed for work that day. When my colleague came to replace me, I told him that there were people in rooms 111 and 303. I then handed the duties over to my colleague,” he told the Court.

Mr. Touray, in his testimony, informed the Court that when Kumba Sinyan arrived at the hostel, he didn’t observe her carrying anything except for her phone. Furthermore, he attested to the presence of flood Victims from Banjul in some of the rooms at the hostel on the night of the incident.

Continuing his testimony, Mr. Touray, told the court that he went home at around 10 pm, and remembered receiving an urgent call from his colleague who relieved him off duties to return to the hostel immediately.

“I asked why, but he insisted that I should come. I called a friend to escort me because it was too late. As I got to the hostel, the guy who relieved me told me that Kumba Sinyan has killed Lamarana Jallow. I asked how did that happen? He told me he was requesting a key from someone occupying Room 303 who told him the key was upstairs. And whilst they were talking, someone passed hurriedly.

“That was the time Demba, my reliever, rushed into Room 111 to see whether the key was there, he tried to open the door, but the door was locked. He then chased after her but could not get her. He saw three boys and asked them whether they had met a lady. The boys said they met a lady wearing black, black. That was the time he got into the car and chased after her,” the witness testified.

The witness testified that they proceeded to the police station and reported the matter to the police.He also testified that they did not open the door to room 111, but instead took a duplicate key and gave it to the Police officers.

Mr. Touray testified that before the arrival of the Police, they did not open the door to room 111. It was his testimony that the officers upon arrival at the hostel opened the door to the room and found the deceased (Momodou Lamarana Jallow) lying on the floor.

Mr. Touray said he recognized the deceased in a pool of blood because he knew him personally.

“We found him (Lamarana) in a pool of blood with a black piece of cloth in his mouth and a pillow on his stomach. The police took pictures and told their boss that he was dead. This was when the police officer told me to go home and that their patrol team was coming. The following morning, I went to the police station and gave my statement,” he told the court.

The case will continue with the cross-examination of the third witness.

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