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Kumba Sinyan Alleges Deceased Ex-Fiance Attempted Rape and Trafficked Illegal Drugs

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Kumba Sinyan arriving in court

By Landing Ceesay 

During the defense phase of her murder trial, Kumba Sinyan alleged that her ex-fiancé, Momodou Lamarana Jallow, attempted to rape her and was involved in selling illegal drugs, including marijuana and a substance known as Gaw.

Kumba Sinyan, a young entrepreneur, is charged with murder under section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Revised Laws of the Gambia 2009. Prosecutors claim that on or about September 14, 2022, at The Friendship Hostel in Bakau, Sinyan, with malice aforethought, caused the death of Lamarana Jallow by cutting his stomach with an object, committing an offense punishable by death under section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.

On the last adjourned date, Kumba’s testimony revealed a harrowing period in her life when she lived in Ziguinchor, Senegal, with her late mother’s brother, Alassana Sonko. She described enduring physical and sexual abuse at his hands, including being raped at the age of 16. The abuse led her to flee back to the Gambia without confiding in her grandmother about the ordeal.

Kumba detailed her tumultuous relationship with her deceased ex-fiancé, Momodou Lamarana Jallow.

“Apart from the sexual and physical assault meted on you by Lamarana Jallow, did he say anything else?” Counsel Sagar, Kumba’s Lawyer asked. 

“Yes, after he tried to forcefully have sex with me and I refused, he came out of his room and told me this is why your uncle was having sex with you. Because you are not a good person. He also insulted me and insulted my mother,” Kumba Sinyan told the court. 

“After forcing me to have sex with you, is that not an attempted rape? Counsel Sagar asked Kumba. 

“Yes, because he was forcing himself on me, but I refused,” Kumba testified. 

Kumba testified that Jallow’s insults, which included derogatory remarks about her late mother, were witnessed by Sally, Alhagie, Baye Faal, and another man named Alhagie. The insults deeply hurt her because of her mother’s death.

“When he continued insulting me, I went into the room we were in, I found a cup of Nescafe that was broken, I took a piece and met him outside still insulting me. Then he came inside and we met in the cabinet I rushed towards him but the curtain fell between us and we fought. But we were separated that was when I realized that he was having some injuries on his body,” Kumba told the court. 

Kumba told the court that the injuries on Lamarana Jallow’s body were caused by the piece of broken glass she went to pick up during their fight. 

“When we were separated, I took my phone and went outside to call a taxi driver to come and pick me up, and then the taxi driver did. I called him Uncle Babucarr. When the taxi driver picked me up, while I was leaving the house and going towards the taxi, Lama (deceased) followed me and insulted me like before. I tried to leave but Uncle Baboucarr stopped me, I entered the vehicle and told Uncle Babucarr to take me to the Brusubi Police Station so that I could report the matter there. But Uncle Babucarr told me not to report the matter, because he normally used to advise Lama and me. 

“So he (Uncle Babucarr) begged and advised that if two people in a relationship go to the Police Station it does not tell well. I let go and he dropped me at my grandmother’s house. When I got home, I went to the toilet and saw that my face was swollen with some bruises. My fingers had some injuries which was as a result of the broken glass I held. But the one on my face was as a result of the beaten I received from Lama (deceased),” Kumba testified. 

Kumba testified that she called her friend Awa Faal, informing her that Lama was beating her.

She also sent pictures of her swollen face and fingers to Awa Faal via WhatsApp.

According to Kumba, her friend was shocked when she received the pictures on WhatsApp.

“She sent me a WhatsApp audio telling me that Lama (deceased) wants to kill me and she advised me to leave the relationship that has gotten to the extent where there is beating because such a relationship does not last,” she said. 

Kumba told the court that on that very night, Lamarana called her, but she ended the call.

“After talking with my friend, I felt that my pants were wet and I went to the bathroom, and realized that my private part was bleeding. I also felt my stomach was hurting. I then cleaned myself put on a pad and went to bed. But I could not sleep because I was feeling pain.

“In the morning when I woke up, I was sleeping feeling the pain and I was bleeding seriously. That morning I took my phone and posted on my status about men who beat women. One of Lama’s co-workers Aji Sally sent me a message asking whether in my post I was referring to Lama, I told her yes” Kumba told the court. 

Kumba shared that on the same day she was supposed to attend the trade fair, she prepared the food to take despite being in severe pain.

Kumba also explained that she didn’t inform her grandmother about her visit to the hospital because she didn’t want to explain why. She testified that she didn’t want her grandmother to know she was bleeding.

“Because that bleeding was as a result of a miscarriage that was why I didn’t go to the hospital. I spoke with Lama before going to the trade fair while I was still angry. I told him that the beating you have done to me has resulted in a miscarriage. He kept quiet for a while and asked me if it was true that I was still bleeding. I told him yes, and he then told me that he would contact his doctor and then call me back.

“My purpose at the trade fair was to sell my products and food. When I got to the trade fair I met with one of Lama’s co-workers, Mbye Lowe. He helped me to bring down my stuff and I explained to him what Lama did to me, he was shocked then I took off my mask and told him to look at my face. I wore the mask even at home because I did not want my grandma and aunty to see my face at the trade fair. I still had the mask because it was around COVID-19 and I did not want people to see my face,” Kumba testified. 

Kumba testified that Mbye Lowe initially didn’t believe her until she revealed her face to him. She mentioned asking Mbye Lowe if Lama had taken anything that night at the store because Lama was acting strangely.

Regarding her purported swollen and bruised face, Kumba told the court that she wore a face mask the entire time while preparing food for the trade fair.

She said that one of her aunt’s co-workers saw her face and inquired about what had happened, which made her start crying.

“I started crying then she asked if I had an issue with Lama I told her yes, we had a small dispute so that she would not understand. From there she advised me to leave the relationship as it was not good to be in a relationship with a man who beats you.

He mentioned seeing me at the trade fair for a discussion. On the appointed day, I headed to the fair right after Jummah prayers. The trade fair is situated at Independence Stadium in Bakau New Town.

Kumba recounted arriving at the trade fair, where she encountered Lama’s colleague, Aji Sally, who was buying lunch. They shared jokes, and Aji Sally inquired if Kumba’s disagreement with Lama stemmed from her refusal to engage in sexual relations with him.

Kumba chose not to respond to Aji Sally’s question but advised her to reconsider the relationship

“Later, I saw Lama, because he called and told me that he was at the trade fair and wanted to see me. By then I was at the stall with my Cousin Maimuna Njie. I met him around the Friendship Hotel there was a Covid stall there, and when we reached there he started apologizing for what he did. He also asked me if I was still bleeding and I told him yes I was and I was feeling pain as well. 

“He (Lama) told me that he does not know what came over him adding that he was behaving like a monster. I asked him if he had taken something, he kept quiet for a while and told me he did not know as he could not tell. 

The reason I asked him (Lama) was because he used to sell drugs. I don’t know the names but he used to sell weed (Marijuana) and a drug called Gaaw. I realized that his friends use these drugs that’s why I asked him. If they use it, they behave like they are high on influence. I have a feeling that he was also using these drugs because he was selling them,” Kumba testified. 

Kumba Sinyan explained that two days later, Lama returned to her stall to apologize, and she used her phone to take a picture of him.

During her arrest, Kumba stated that her phone was seized, and it contained a crucial video. She emphasized that the phone holds evidence essential for her defense.

In court, Counsel Sagar Twum requested permission for Kumba to access her phone to retrieve pertinent information that could support her case.

Counsel Twum noted that Kumba Sinyan would require an internet connection to access specific data from the phone, as it had been inactive for two years.

State Counsel Mamy Sanyang responded by stating no objection to Kumba accessing her phone but opposed granting internet access.

“The witness will only need the internet to download new features or upgrade her phone,” Counsel Sanyang told the court. 

Hon. Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh emphasized that the accused must be allowed access to her phone without internet connectivity, whether it involves the gallery or WhatsApp.

Justice Jobarteh mentioned that any discussion regarding the accused accessing the internet should take place once the phone is presented in court.

Continuing her testimony about the interaction with Lama, Kumba informed the court that after he apologized, he reached into his pocket and retrieved medications, stating they were prescribed by his doctor for her use.

Kumba added that she accepted the medications because he had previously brought her medicines.

“He said in the medicines there was one that I should drink and there was another one that I should put in my private part. I did as he told me. When I returned home, that was the time I started using them. Then I observed that when I started using the medicines that was the time I started feeling more pain. The bleeding also changed because I saw a blood clot. I don’t know why the blood clot was coming out. After taking the pills, I don’t feel any pregnancy Again. I was pregnant but following taking the pills I was no longer pregnant as I saw my menstrual Cycle after that. 

“I got back to Lama in the morning and I told him that the bleeding had not stopped. But he told me that he would talk to his doctor and then get back to me after a while he told me that the bleeding would stop. 

“The relationship was different, it went to a point where I told him let’s end the relationship but he did not agree to it because at the time I felt the relationship had ended. Those days he used to call my Cousins and friends to talk to me, he spoke to my Cousin Maimuna Njie and friend Maimuna Sacko telling them to talk to me so that we could get back together. After I accepted and we got back together,” Kumba Sinyan told the court. 

Kumba informed the court that during a dinner date with Lama in August 2022, he mentioned his upcoming travel plans. According to Kumba, Lama mentioned he was going to pursue further education in an unspecified Asian country, although she couldn’t recall the specific name. She also recalled that Lama had previously traveled to Turkey after she experienced a miscarriage, noting that this was not his first time traveling.

“While we were at the Bamboo Chinese Restaurant, he (Lama) told me that he wanted to travel and asked when he left what would I do because he did not trust that when he travelled I would not be with another man. I told him that I would not cheat or be with another man. I told him if he did not trust me I would go to the hospital and seal myself. Because that meant if I do that I will not have sex with any man. We agreed on that, then the following day I called a doctor who I knew does that, when I spoke with him (the Doctor) he gave me a date then I called Lama and told him that I had an appointment with a doctor.

“The appointed day arrived, and I made my way to Kanifing Hospital where I met with Doctor Daffeh in the vicinity of the labour ward. I knew him previously as a gynaecologist; our first encounter was when I sought treatment for an infection. My friend Mariama Sibo had recommended him for this procedure.

“Upon arrival at the hospital, Dr. Daffeh confirmed the service fee of D2,500, as he had informed me earlier. I made the payment and received a receipt along with a prescription for necessary medications,” she testified.

Kumba added that she currently does not have the payment receipt, suspecting it might have been misplaced in her belongings. However, she affirmed having a photo of the prescription, which she had sent to someone via WhatsApp to purchase on her behalf.

After completing the payment, Kumba recounted accompanying Dr. Daffeh to a room adjacent to the labour ward at Kanifing Hospital.

“He (Dr. Daffeh) asked why I wanted to do this and I told him that I was about to get married. He asked me to undress and lay down. I saw him having an injection and he injected me on my private part and then he started stitching my private part. I started crying because I was thinking of all the risks I was going through for my man to believe the love I have for him as well. I don’t know the name of the injection, but when he injected me, I did not feel the stitching. After stitching me, I went to his office and he prescribed for me. Almost two days later, I started bleeding again and I called Dr. Daffeh,” Kumba testified. 

Kumba explained that it took approximately two weeks for the stitches to heal. She recounted how she informed Lama about what had happened, but he didn’t believe her and kept questioning her actions.

Regarding Lama’s travels, Kumba mentioned that aside from Turkey, Lama also journeyed to Ziquinchor to visit his mother, Asanatou Jallow. She noted that Lama’s purpose in visiting his mother was to update her about his upcoming educational journey to Asia.

Kumba referred to Lama’s mother affectionately as “Aunty Assie.” She testified that she and Lama communicated regularly, even before his trip to Ziquinchor. Kumba added that she considers Lama’s mother as her own, often confiding in her about issues she had with Lama.

“I called her when Lama was sending me nude pictures of other people saying that was me. I explained it to her and she told me that she would call Lama and talk to him. Lama later came to me and told me that his mother said if he cannot regard me as his sister or girlfriend he should stop what he is doing.

“When Lama went to visit his mother he spent 3 days there as he went on a Friday and came back a Sunday evening that was the Sunday before he had to leave for Asia.

“On Monday we were talking and I went to his compound, we sat down chatting, we spoke about my business and he told me that he could take some of my products with him to sell them there. He said he would call to ask how the business is going there. He said he would take 20 kilos for me and then he would send the money so I could make others and when someone is going the person can take it. He called 3 people who told him that the business works there. He also called people that make the stickers that I paste on my products because they were finished,” Kumba said. 

Kumba Sinyan mentioned that Lama informed her he planned to meet someone else to deliver materials for them.

“I had to leave but on the road, we were communicating but my phone went off. When I got home, I had to charge my phone and we continued communicating. The whole evening we were communicating. He told me that he had to reduce the kilos from 20 to 15 because he had other stuff to take for others. By then I had already communicated with my Aunt Mariama Jaw to help me with my products. I had to make that in a space of one day,” she told the court. 

The court was then adjourned to the 15th of July 2024.

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