By Landing Ceesay
The Fifth Prosecution Witness (PW5) in the ongoing Kumba Sinyan murder trial has told the court that the defendant once injured the late Lamarana Jallow (deceased) before his alleged murder.
Alhagie Sonko, the 5th prosecution witness, is a resident of Brusubi and a former roommate of the late Lamarana Jallow. In his testimony, he told the court that he knew the defendant, Kumba Sinyan.
Kumba Sinyan is 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 offense punishable with death under section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.
PW5 told the court that the accused person and the deceased have been in a relationship for nearly four years and that the accused person (Kumba Sinyan) visits the residence he shared with the deceased, Lamarana, who also reciprocate by paying the defendant visits to her home.
When asked whether that’s all he knew about their relationship, the witness responded in the negative and proceeded to tell the court that Lama (deceased) and Kumba Sinyan (Accused person) once had a problem.
“They once had a problem while I was laying in the bedroom, and they were in the living room. I came out and found them quarreling. Lama was sitting in a chair, holding Kumba Sinyan’s two hands. I asked Lama to leave her hands, but Lama told me that if he let go of her hands, Kumba would hurt him. Lama told me that she has a bottle. I bought a glass bottle of coffee the day before that altercation, and that was the bottle Kumba was using.
“I held Kumba’s hands and asked Lama to go out. When Lama went out, that was the time the neighbors came out. Ya Sally who is just like a mother to Lama because she brought him up also came. The neighbors helped in calming her down. Lama went out of the compound to go to the other house, but Kumba ran after him to the other house and attacked him there,” PW5 told the Court.
The witness further told the court that when Kumba Sinyan ran to the other house to attack Lama, she was held by one boy called “Bai Faal. Furthermore, the witness told the court that, during this altercation, both he and Lama (deceased) sustained injuries.
PW5 said Kumba Sinyan injured Lama with a broken bottle on his back.
The witness stated that the neighbors calmed Kumba down, then she picks her bag and left the compound.
“Then Lama asked me to accompany him to the clinic because he is injured. So I accompanied him to the Africmed Clinic where he got injections and other medications,” the witness testified.
The witness further told the Court that after that incident at around 2 am before Lama’s alleged murder, the accused came to their house while they were already in bed asleep.
“Kumba Sinyan entered the compound and knocked on our door and asked Lama to open the door. But Lama said he wouldn’t open the door for her. She was having that discussion with Lama, and by then I was lying in the bedroom while Lama was in the living room. She then came to the window of the bedroom. I asked, who are you? She told me that it is Kumba. She asked me to open the door for her. I told her to ask Lama to open the door for her.
“But she said Lama refused to open the door for her. Then, I got up to open the door for her. Lama said, let me not open the door. Lama told me that he went to Senegambia for a party with Kumba. When he was going home, he picked up Kumba in a taxi, but she told him that she is not going home at that time. That’s the time the taxi turned and then Kumba dropped off the taxi and told him that she is going to Reo’s,” PW5 told the court.
PW5 said the deceased (Lama) told him that Kumba said she was not going home and now that it is late she is coming to their house at that time of the night when he (Lama) was supposed to go to work the following day.
The witness said Lama then pulled out the key from the door and went back to his bed. He told the court that when he checked his phone, the time was almost 3 am. It is the testimony of the witness that after Lama pulled the key from the door and went back to his bed, the accused (Kumba Sinyan) went to Lama’s window and kept on knocking on it, saying she wants to tell Lama something.
“Then the rain started, and Lama called a taxi driver to come and pick her up. When the taxi driver came and horned, Lama asked her to go to the taxi. When she reaches home, she can call and tell him everything. Kumba resisted going and the taxi driver stood there for a while and the driver left.
“Lama called another taxi driver and told her that ‘this is your last chance. If you don’t go, I won’t call another taxi again.’ But Kumba insisted that she is not going. Then Lama called another taxi, the driver told him that he was around Manjai, so Lama told him to come and pick up Kumba. The rain started again, that’s the time Kumba left when the second taxi driver came,” the witness told the court.
The witness further told the court that the following morning when he was taking Lama to work, he asked Lama about Kumba, and Lama told him that Kumba sent him a text message asking for them to break up.
The witness said Lama showed him the text message and Kumba as far as she came there and Lama refused to open the door for her, she wanted them to break up.
PW5 further testified that Lama told him he was grateful that Kumba wanted them to break up, and that he was tired of Kumba Sinyan because sometimes Kumba will text his business partners and tell them all sorts of things, prompting some of them to report her to him.
“So he (Lama) said, ‘thank God that she is the one who texted me to say we should break up. From there, Kumba Sinyan skipped coming to our house for almost 2 weeks. Lama then went to visit his mother, that was on Friday and came back on Sunday. When he came back on Sunday, Kumba Sinyan came to our home on Monday. On Tuesday, I left Lama in the house and traveled to Niumi because I have a friend whose father passed away.
“I told Lama about it, then I went to Niumi. I spent the whole day and came back in the evening at around 9 pm. But I went to the boys and sat there for about 11 pm and went home. When I arrived home, I found that Lama packed all his documents and place them on the chair. But I did not meet him in the house. I only found his documents and suitcase. Then I closed the door and went to bed,” the witness testified.
The witness further testified that when he woke up the following morning, he saw Lama’s suitcase and documents at the same place, but Lama was not there. PW5 said he then went to collect their clothes from the laundry. From the laundry, he went to the Bank alone, although he was supposed to go with Lama. The witness said thereafter he proceeded to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).
“Aunty Sally (Lama’s foster mother) called me and ask me about Lamarana. I told her that Lama did not spend the night at home. She said to me, maybe he has gone out with his friends because he would be traveling out of the country on Thursday. After a while, Aunty Sally called me again to meet her at the Bakau Police Station. I told her I was going to Foni. She insisted that I should go and when I am going, I should make sure that I go with Nfansu,” the witness told the court.
The witness said he asked Aunty Sally what happened, and she told him that Lama was found dead in Bakau at the Friendship Hotel. The witness said he then went to the Bakau Police and meet Aunty Sally there. Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh then adjourned the case to the 16th of February 2023 for cross-examination at noon.