Mama Jabbi prosecution with in the Ousainou Bojang Case
By Landing Ceesay
Counsel Lamin J. Darboe, the attorney representing Ousainou Bojang (the 1st accused), has submitted the call records of Mama Jabbi, the third Prosecution Witness, as the cross-examination process continues.
During the previous court session, Mama Jabbi, a marabout and businesswoman, affirmed her role in leading the police to the arrest of Ousainou Bojang. Bojang is accused of killing two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights.
Counsel LJ Darboe informed the court that Mama Jabbi’s call records from Africell were already in possession, but he is awaiting the call records from Qcell.
The documentation was presented to the court by Counsel LJ Darboe through Abubacarr Jallow, a data analyst employed at Africell.
Counsel AM Yusuf, the Director of Public Prosecution representing the state, pointed out that the document is computer-generated and emphasized the need for it to be accompanied by a certificate, as per Section 22 of the Evidence Act.
“From the face of the document, it is computer generated section 22 of the Evidence Act is very clear when it comes to computer-generated documents,” DPP Yusuf told the court.
Presiding Judge Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh countered, stating that the document, originating from a subpoenaed witness, did not require a certificate.
“Most of the documents we use in the courts now are computer-generated documents. These are the call logs of the witness. So I don’t think we have to waste time on this. The computer reference in the Evidence Act talks about computer-generated documents that have to do with calculations.
“But there is no calculation on this document. It is only the call logs of the witness. If we are to term this as computer-generated then even our charge sheets would be computer-generated. This cannot be qualified as a computer-generated document, otherwise, we would have to treat all court documents as computer-generated documents,” Hon. Justice Jaiteh said.
Consequently, Hon. Justice Jaiteh admitted the document as evidence and designated it as a Court document (C1).
The presiding judge then instructed defense Counsel LJ Darboe to proceed with the cross-examination of the witness, Mama Jabbi.
Continuing the cross-examination, Counsel LJ Darboe inquired whether Mama Jabbi had provided a statement to the police upon arriving from Jululung with the 1st accused.Mama Jabbi informed the court that she had provided a statement to the police at the Anti-Crime Unit, but she was unable to recall the exact date. She stated that she had provided the police with her personal information, including her name, home address in Sukuta, occupation as a housewife, and two phone numbers. However, when Counsel LJ Darboe read out the two phone numbers mentioned in her police statement, Mama Jabbi acknowledged that she did not memorize phone numbers.
“You gave your age as 36 years?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi.
“I may have given that but I cannot remember,” Mama Jabbi responded. Mama Jabbi stated that she had signed her statement with her thumbprint and handed it over to the police. Defense counsel LJ Darboe then requested the original statement of Mama Jabbi to be presented so that it could be submitted as a defense exhibit in the trial. Justice Jaiteh inquired with DPP Yusuf whether he was in possession of the original copy of Mama Jabbi’s statement, to which DPP Yusuf responded in the affirmative. DPP Yusuf then presented the original copy of Mama Jabbi’s statement. Justice Jaiteh admitted the statement into evidence and marked it as defense exhibit D3
Continuing her testimony during cross-examination, Mama Jabbi stated that the first accuse, Ousainou Bojang, approached her around 2 pm. She informed the court that she captured a photograph of Ousainou Bojang and recorded their interaction.
When questioned about whether she documented the entire conversation with Ousainou Bojang, Mama Jabbi clarified that when the first accused disclosed to her that he had committed a murder, she stepped outside to make a phone call.
“So you didn’t record that part where he allegedly told you that he killed someone,” counsel Darboe asked Mama Jabbi.
“Where he told me that he killed someone. It is in the recorded audio,” Mama Jabbi responded.
“Do you have that audio with you?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi again.
“Upon my return, I faced a barrage of insults, prompting me to delete my WhatsApp account and consequently lose all content, except for interactions with certain individuals,” Mama Jabbi explained once more.
Counsel LJ Darboe asked her whether she is aware that the said audio is all over the internet, Mama Jabbi said it is possible but she is not aware of it.
“I am putting it to you that, that audio is all over the Internet. But why not you go to the Internet and bring it to the court because it is your recording,” Counsel LJ Darboe put it to Mama Jabbi.
Mama Jabbi stated that she could access the internet or make calls to obtain the audio recording.
Defense counsel LJ Darboe inquired about the specific time when the first accused, Ousainou Bojang, requested to use her phone.
“At the time he confessed to killing someone, he asked to use my phone to contact his older sister. I informed him that I lacked phone credit,” Mama Jabbi informed the court.
Mama Jabbi testified in court that when Ousainou Bojang allegedly confessed to her that he killed police officers, she called Musa Camara, a staff of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA). During the trial, Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi whether she was aware that Musa Camara is married, and Mama Jabbi responded affirmatively.
“How many times did you meet Musa Camara within the last six months?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi.
“The day I captured the accused person, I called Musa Camara and we met at Giboro, he came with the Police and we continued to Jululung,” Mama Jabbi responded.
“So you met him twice not once in the last six months.?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi again.
“The day I met Musa Camara was the day we met at Giboro and went to Jululung together. And We went to Anti Crime Unit where I gave my statement,” Mama jabbi responded.
Counsel LJ Darboe inquired if Mama Jabbi had contacted Musa Camara’s wife prior to reaching out to Musa himself. Mama Jabbi confirmed, stating that she had indeed called Musa’s wife first, and Musa subsequently answered the call. Additionally, Mama Jabbi informed the court that she was acquainted with Musa Camara’s wife.
“In your statement, you told the court that you left the Gambia on 12th of August 2023 for Dakar, Senegal,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi.
Mama Jabbi said she told the Police that she left the Gambia on a Tuesday and arrive in Jululung around 2 am.
“In fact, according to your statement which is exhibit D3, you were outside the Gambia from the 12th of August 2023 up to the end of August, throughout that month you were outside the country,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness.
“I forgot, I can’t remember, because I am not educated,” Mama Jabbi told the court.
“According to your call records from the 17th of August 2023 to the 25th of August 2023, you were in the Gambia here, you didn’t go anywhere,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness.
Mama Jabbi adamantly maintained her lack of knowledge, attributing it to a lapse in her memory
“I am putting it to you that you only crossed the border at Basori on the 10th of September 2023 and disappeared for two days no one knows about your whereabouts and all of a sudden, you surfaced in Senegal on the 12th of September 2023,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi.
Mama Jabbi informed the court that Counsel LJ Darboe’s assertion was merely an opinion and did not align with the actual events.
In response, Counsel LJ Darboe clarified that it was not a matter of opinion but based on the information derived from Mama Jabbi’s call logs with Africell.
“You were in Basori four minutes to 5pm on the 10th of September 2023. I am putting it to you that on the 11th and 12th of September 2023, you made no calls because you were not in the Gambia,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi.
Mama Jabbi told the court that she didn’t know what Counsel LJ Darboe was saying.
Mama Jabbi confirmed to the court that she was in Brufut on the 13th of September 2023 the day the 1st accused (Ousainou Bojang) was apprehended and brought to Gambia.
“At 21:22 you were at Brufut Junction, where the home of the 1st accused (Ousainou Bojang) is situated,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi.
“I did not go there,” Mama Jabbi told the court.
“But you just told the court that you were there but you did not get down from the vehicle?” Counsel LJ Darboe quizzed the witness.
“I was talking about the day we came from Jululung,” Mam Jabbi responded.
“According exhibit C1, your call records, you were at Brufut Junction at 21:22 on the 13th of September 2023,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. “That is not me,” Mama Jabbi insisted.
Counsel LJ Darboe then informed her that the phone records showed that she had not traveled from Brufut Junction to Sukuta as she had claimed, but had instead gone to Old Yundum. Mama Jabbi, however, denied having gone to Yundum.
“According to your call records, you were at Old Yundum at 23:28 on the 13th of September 2023 the day the 1st accused was apprehended,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi.
“I can’t remember,” Mama Jabbi responded.
“In fact you spent the night at Old Yundum, at 6am you were still at Old Yundum,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi.
“The day Ousainou Bojang was captured, it was late at night so I spent the night at Old Yundum that was the first time I spent the night there. People were insulting me, I did not go back home because I was threatened. I was receiving insult from all social media platforms that’s why I spent the night at Old Yundum,” Mama Jabbi told the court shortly after denying that she went to Old Yundum.
“The telephone number you gave to the Police which starts with 382**** is it registered in your name? Counsel LJ Darboe asked.
“I was not using it and they later gave it to someone. I only use it on my WhatsApp,” Mama Jabbi told the court.
“I am putting it to you that, that is a fabrication. Because that number is registered under Musa Camara’s name,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi.
“I knew it as my Qcell number not Musa Camara. I am referring to my Qcell number not someone’s else,” Mama Jabbi responded.
Hon. Justice Jaiteh then adjourned the case to the 4th of December 2023 for the continuation of cross examination.
Background of the Case
On September 21, 2023, Ousainou and Amie Bojang made their initial appearance before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, facing charges related to the shooting incident at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights, which resulted in the tragic deaths of two PIU officers and severe injury to another on September 12, 2023.
The police had initially levelled four charges against the accused, including two murder charges, an act of terrorism charge, and an accessory after the fact to murder charge. Subsequently, Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang transferred the murder trial to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court of The Gambia.
On October 12, 2023, the case was presented before Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of The Gambia.
On October 19, 2023, the State brought six charges against Ousainou Bojang, the prime suspect in the deaths of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, and a single charge against his elder sister, Amie Bojang.
On October 24, 2023, both Ousainou Bojang and Amie Bojang entered pleas of not guilty to the charges.