By Landing Ceesay
Sainabou Mbye’s (1st Accused) lawyer, Ida Drammeh told the court that the Police Investigation into the matter allegedly involving her client is “incomplete and unreliable”.
“I am putting it to you that your investigation is incomplete and unreliable,” she told the court while cross-examining ASP Bakary Dibba, the 4th prosecution witness who doubles as head of Police investigators in the case.
Counsel Drammeh asked the witness to tell the court how many times they have visited the premises, which they referred to as the crime scene; and the witness responded that they visited the crime scene only on 20th July 2022, the same day they received the case file from Bundung Police Serious Crime Unit.
The defence lawyer further asked witness Dibba if Cherno Mbye (2nd accused) and Kibili Dambely (3rd accused) were in detention at the time of their visit, he responded in the negative.
“No, they were not under detention. They were detained after visiting the crime scene. After we took all the necessary procedures, that’s the time they were detained,” ASP said.
Lawyer Drammeh asked the Police investigator whether the day they visited the scene, was the same day they set up an investigation panel; and he responded in the positive and added that the determination of a condition of a panel depends entirely on the supervisor.
“My supervisor instructed me to constitute an investigation panel of which I am part. I then selected the team in consultation with my seniors,” he said.
Counsel Drammeh asked the witness if they had not done any investigation about the demise of baby Muhammad, prior to the 20th July; “yes,” the police investigator responded.
“Is it not the case that the first thing you did was to visit the crime scene?” Counsel Drammeh asked the ASP Dibba.
“No, we interacted with the accused persons. So, after giving us their (2nd and 3rd accused) own version, we deemed it necessary to visit the crime scene,” Dibba responded.
ASP Dibba further told the court that according to the narration of Cherno Mbye (2nd accused) and Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused), something was happening on the day baby Muhammad died.
“Would I be correct to say that other people were involved?” Counsel Drammeh asked.
“Yes, according to them (the accused persons) their agents were involved and probably, the truck driver,” ASP Dibba responded.
The counsel asked the witness if he could describe the apartment in their evidence-in-chief to the court; but he that he may not be able to give a full description of the apartment because it was not the subject of their investigation.
Counsel Drammeh: “Didn’t you just tell the court that Cherno Mbye take you inside the apartment?”
ASP Dibba: “Yes, but I can’t give a description of the apartment. But photographs were taken.”
Counsel Drammeh: “Why were they (photographs) not part of your evidence.”?
ASP Dibba: “There was a division of labour at the crime scene, and the photos were taken by other officers, and myself. I am the head of the team, which does not suggest that I do everything on my own. Photos were taken by different persons altogether.”
Counsel Drammeh asked whether or not the vehicle that transported the accused to the crime scene was brought to the scene on the days they revisited the scene.
ASP Dibba responded that it was brought to the scene during the reconstruction period, but he could not remember if the vehicle was measured.
He told the court that they visited the compound next to Sainabou Mbye’s and the people living there told them (police) that they moved there newly, and they were not aware of anything.
Further asked by Counsel Drammeh whether or not the vehicle on the sketch is the correct representation of its position on the day of the incident.
ASP Dibba responded that as per their sketch, it is the correct representation of where the vehicle was parked on the 3rd of July.
He further told the court that the driver of the vehicle (2nd accused) told them that the vehicle was parked where it was parked on the 3rd of July, and that was where the measurement was taken.
Sainabou Mbye’s lawyer told the witness that his sketch is not the “accurate” position of the vehicle on the 3rd July; but ASP Dibba insisted that it is.
Counsel Drammeh: “I am putting it to you that your investigation is incomplete and unreliable.”
ASP Dibba: “That is the take of the counsel, my lord, but our investigation was efficiently conducted.”
The ex-wife of remanded Bob Keita Sainabou Mbye (1st accused), Cherno Mbye (2nd accused), and Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused), are charged with manslaughter, contrary to section 186 of Criminal Code Cap: 10.01 Vol.III, Laws of the Gambia 2009.
The particulars of the offence stated that Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye, and Kibili Dambelly, on or about 3rd July 2022, at Kanifing and diverse places in The Gambia, by unlawful act, or omission, amounting to culpable negligence, left a two-year-old boy resident of Brusubi inside a car, which caused his death, thereby committed an offence.
The lawyers representing the State are S. L Jobarteh, and F. Drammeh; while I. Drammeh is representing the 1st accused; C. Gaye and Miss Twum are representing the 2nd and 3rd accused persons.
The case continues on Friday at the High Court in Banjul.