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“Ousainou Bojang Denied Some Charges,” Witness Tells Court 

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Ousainu Bojang in court

By Landing Ceesay 

Alieu Cham, a Sukuta-based businessman enlisted by the Police Anti Crime Unit as an impartial witness, disclosed to the court that Ousainou Bojang, the accused in the case involving the demise of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, both acknowledged and refuted certain charges against him.

Detailing the events surrounding the acquisition of Ousainou Bojang’s cautionary and voluntary statements, Cham explained that Anti Crime Officer Mr. Ebou Sowe translated the statements into Mandinka for them.

“Before started writing, he (Ebou Sowe) told him (Ousainou Bojang) that I was here to write your statement. He told him (Ousainou Bojang) that whatever he said was what he would write on the paper, and then he (Ebou Sowe) started writing. When he started writing, I heard him ask Ousainou whether he was in a position to talk. Ousainou responded to him in Wolof and said yes. Then he started asking Ousainou questions. Whenever Ousainou speaks, Sowe will write. He started asking Ousainou about the incident, and Ousainou started answering. I cannot say everything, but that is how it happened,” Mr. Cham told the court. 

“After writing the statement, did anything happen?” Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) AM Yusuf asked the witness. 

“No, nothing happened in my presence,” the witness told the court. 

Mr. Cham informed the court that once he finished writing, Ebou Sowe proceeded to read the statement aloud to both him and Ousainou.

“He (Ebou Sowe) read it in English and translated it to me in Mandinka because I don’t have a deep understanding of Wolof. He also asked Ousainou which language he would understand. Ousainou asked him to read the statement. Then he read it out to both of us at the same time. 

“When he (Ebou Sowe) finished reading, he gave the document to Ousainou in my presence. But before giving it to him, he asked Ousainou whether he could read. Then Ousainou took the paper from his hand and went through the document for some time and returned the document to him (Ebou Sowe),” the witness told the court. 

The witness further stated that he overheard Ebou Sowe informing Ousainou Bojang that he transcribed exactly what Ousainou narrated.

According to the witness, this was when Ebou Sowe instructed Ousainou Bojang to imprint his thumb on the document. Subsequently, after Ousainou Bojang had done so, Ebou Sowe also imprinted his thumb on it.

When questioned if he would recognize the mentioned document upon sighting it, the witness affirmed.

Mr. Cham informed the court that he would indeed recognize the document as he had typed it, his name was inscribed on it, and his telephone number was listed as well.

He proceeded to recite his telephone number for confirmation before the court.

The document was then presented to the witness for identification, and he confirmed it to be the statement he witnessed being procured from Ousainou Bojang.

“After that, did anything happen between the 3 of you?” DPP Yusuf asked the witness. 

“Yes, something happened,” the witness told the court.  

“Can you tell the court what happened?” DPP Yusuf asked the witness again. 

“I was having a conversation with Ousainou, about how the conversation started I can’t remember, but he told me that he used to come to Sukuta to mold blocks. He mentioned someone’s name and that they built that person’s house. During the conversation, he explained to me the area he was living in, and I also told him that my sister also lives there,” the witness told the court. 

Prior to the witness proceeding further, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe, representing Ousainou Bojang, interjected, contesting the relevance of the witness’s testimony to the voir dire proceedings.

“The witness is brought to testify in respect of the mini-trial and on how the statement was obtained. The witness is here to establish the voluntaryness of the statements. I don’t see any relevance in what the witness is trying to say here. The witness should confine himself to what he is here for. The voir dire is limited,” Counsel LJ Darboe argued. 

In reply, Prosecutor Yusuf contended that the testimony bears significance to the voir dire process, as it sheds light on the voluntariness of the obtained statements.

Following this, Honorable Justice Ebrima Jaiteh instructed the witnesses to proceed with their testimony.

“Ousainou then told me that their compounds are either adjacent or opposite to each other. Then he told me that I looked like someone. I told him that my brother did his schooling in Brufut, and Ousainou told me that he also attended the same school in Brufut. I then told him my brother’s name, and he told me that they were in the same class,” Mr. Cham told the court. 

“On that very day, the statement you witnessed, did Mr. Ebou Sowe, obtain any statement from any other statement that day?” DPP Yusuf asked the witness.

 “Yes, the charges that were leveled against Ousainou, I can’t say them because they are too many,” the witness told the court. 

“How were the charges leveled against him?” DPP Yusuf asked the witness. 

“I don’t know, all I know is that he (Ebou Sowe) was saying them and asking Ousainou whether he agreed or not. At the beginning, he (Ousainou Bojang) denied the charges, and he was saying no. There were some charges he agreed to,” the witness told the court.  

“If you see those documents, would you be able to identify them,” DPP Yusuf asked the witness again. 

“Yes, I will be able to recognize them because it is the same thumbprint and my telephone number on them,” the witness responded. 

Hon. Justice Jaiteh then asked the DPP to stop there until today due to the passing of the Deputy Judicial Secretary, Mr. Lamin George. 

Hon. Justice Jaiteh then adjourned the case to today for continuation. 

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 leveled 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

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