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“He Raped My Daughter” Mother of Alleged Rape Victim Tells Court 

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Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court

By Landing Ceesay 

The mother of an alleged rape victim testified in court that the accused man, whom she regarded as a father figure, raped her daughter.

A 70-year-old man, Tunko (not his real name), is facing a single charge of rape. Prosecutors allege that in January 2019, in the Kanifing Municipality (KM) of the Republic of The Gambia, Tunko engaged in a sexual act with a fifteen-year-old girl under coercive circumstances, thereby committing an offence.

When asked if she recognized the accused, the victim’s mother confirmed that Tunko was her neighbour.

“Tell the court what led to your recognition of this man in the dugout,” State Counsel A. Gibba asked the witness. 

“We were neighbours, where we both sell. We had a cordial relationship. I regard him as my biological father. But what he did to me, I will never forget it until the day I will die. He raped my daughter,” the alleged rape victim’s mother told the court. 

Counsel O. Susso, representing the defendant, objected to the witness’s testimony alleging that his client raped her daughter.

However, the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, overruled Susso’s objection and instructed the witness to proceed with her testimony.

The witness then continued to detail her knowledge regarding her daughter’s alleged rape.

“I usually go to the market to sell, and when I return from the market around 8 pm to 9 pm, my husband calls and asks me whether I have been observing how my daughter walks. I was frightened when he told me that, and I asked him what happened. My husband told me that my daughter is sexually active. When my husband told me that, he asked me if I didn’t believe her, and let me go and check on her. I took my daughter and placed her on the bed and removed her trousers. 

“I then asked my daughter who she had sex with. I asked her twice and she did not tell me. And my husband then told me that he would ask her, and my husband then asked her. When my husband asked her who did that to her, she told my husband that it was the accused person. I was so sad that day and to die was the only thing that came to mind,” the Bereaved Mother testified. 

The alleged victim’s mother continued: “When my daughter told her father that it was the accused person who raped her, the father decided to go to the accused person’s compound. We had a neighbour who told my husband to calm down and take it easy and send a child to go and call the accused person.” 

She testified that her husband then sent a child to summon the accused, who subsequently arrived at their compound.

The alleged victim’s mother informed the court that initially, the accused denied raping her daughter, but later confessed to it.

“At first, he (the accused person) said, it was not him. My daughter asked him to swear by God if he was not the one who raped her. The accused person is here, I am not talking behind him. When my daughter told him that, he then admitted that he was the one who raped my daughter. I felt so bad that day, and I told the accused person that I never expected such from him. Because I regard him as my biological father and that he will be the one to protect my children, not to harm them. 

“He (the accused person) said he was the one who did it, but it was the work of Satan, not intentional. That was the time my husband asked him what would happen if my daughter got pregnant, the Accused person told my husband that he would give her medicine that would terminate the pregnancy by the grace of God. The accused wanted to give us D1,500 for us to forgive him. But my husband refused and told him that made everyone sad, and now he wants to give us D1,500. My husband warned him not to tell us that again,” the Bereaved Mother told the court. 

The witness told the court that the incident left her in a state of shock and embarrassment. She testified that she could not even tell her relatives about the incident. 

“I have been very sad since the incident. I wanted to call my brother who is a PIU Officer, and even if I took my phone to call him, I couldn’t do it. Because I was sad, embarrassed and ashamed. I was telling myself, if this reaches my family, what will I do? I couldn’t call my brother, I sent my husband to go there and tell him,” the mother of the alleged rape victim told the court. 

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