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Under Cross-Examination: Abubakary Jawara Gives Accounts Of Guns He Imported In 2019 

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GACH Global CEO, Abubakary Jawara and Former Secretary General, Momodou Sabally

By Landing Ceesay 

The Chief Executive Officer of GACH Global, Abubakary Jawara, during cross-examination by defence counsel in his defamation case against former Secretary General and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Momodou Sabally, gave account of the guns he imported into the country in 2019.

Mr. Jawara testified in court that he was at one time given a license to import hunting guns into the country, and he informed the authorities of his intent to import hunting guns to the country. 

“As the license was issued to me, I informed the authorities that I was going to import hunting guns to the country,” he said. 

Counsel Abdoulie Fatty, representing the defendant, asked Jawara whether the guns are for commercial purposes only. 

“Yes, it is for commercial purposes only. The license was not issued to me alone, and it did not begin with me. Even now, people who are given licenses are importing guns into the country,” Abubakary Jawara responded. 

Counsel Fatty asked Abubakary Jawara whether he imported 1263 firearms and ammunition to the country in a 20ft container. In response, Abubakary told the court that he does not have the documents with the figures on him. However, he acknowledged that the figures given by Counsel Fatty are similar to the number of guns he imported to the country. 

On whether his 20ft container was intercepted by the police at ports, the plaintiff responded that there was no document issued to him informing him that his container was impounded at the ports.

“It is correct that the 20ft container was intercepted by the police at the ports,” Counsel Fatty asked Jawara. 

“There was no document issued to me to say that my container was impounded at the ports,” Jawara responded. 

On the question posed to him by defence Counsel, Fatty regarding a joint security investigation into the matter which involved the SIS, the Police and the Military, Jawara retorted that was a requirement of his license. 

“That was by the requirement of the license given to me. This led the SIS, the police and the Military Intelligent to go and check the place where the guns are going is safe,” Abubakary Jawara testified. 

“Are you telling us that there was no formal investigation following the arrival of the guns into the country,” Counsel Fatty asked. 

“Yes, there was an investigation done at the ports, by the Military, SIS and the Police to ascertain whether these are hunting guns or not,” Jawara answered. 

Counsel Fatty then asked Mr. Jawara whether apart from the investigation by the security forces, the guns were also a subject of investigation before the parliament. The plaintiff answer in the affirmative, stating that the issue was investigated by parliament because it is their right to do so. 

Counsel Fatty told Abubakary Jawara that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense visited his warehouse and spoke with one Samba Jawo about the security of the place. Jawara confirmed that the committee visited his warehouse. He told the court that the Committee was led by one Sanna Jawara, but the purpose was for them to check whether the warehouse is safe to keep the guns or not. 

“I am putting it to you that this was not a mere visit to the warehouse. They were investigating the guns, that’s why they visited the warehouse,” Counsel Fatty put it to Jawara. 

“The committee from the National Assembly knew that I cannot import guns into the country without a license. I was not issued with any document by the committee to say that they are investigating the guns,” Jawara told the court. 

“I am putting it to you that this issue was so serious that the General body of the National Assembly in 2020 recommended to defence for the suspension of gun importation pending investigation,” Counsel Fatty to Jawara. 

Abubakary Jawara said he did not go to the National Assembly, and he was not given any documents as well. 

“That was for the MPs, not you,” Counsel Fatty told Abubakary Jawara. 

Counsel Fatty then asked Abubakary Jawara whether out of 1, 263 guns he imported if 63 were confiscated by the military. 

“The amount you stated was never confiscated, what they (the Military) told me is that those guns are new hunting weapons, and they want me to give them to them. So I give it to them. I was not issued any document to show that they were confiscated,” Jawara told the Court. 

“I am putting it to you that your own security guard Samba Jawo told the MPs that 63 guns were confiscated by the military,” Counsel Fatty put it to Jawara. 

“That might be a mistake by Samba Jawo because I was not with him there. But I was not given any document that they were confiscated,” Abubakary Jawara said. 

On the question of the number of guns that GACH Global sold by July 2020 that defence counsel put to him, Jawara responded that he doesn’t know the exact amount.

“238 guns would that be a fair number of the guns sold,” Counsel Fatty asked. 

“I took an oath, so I don’t want to lie,” Abubakary Jawara responded. 

Counsel Fatty then asked whether some guns were sold, to which Abubakary Jawara responded in the positive. Adding that the guns are imported for commercial purposes. 

Counsel Fatty then showed Abubakary Jawara a license issued to him by the Gambia Police Force for the importation of guns and asked him to read condition A of the license from the Police. 

“It is for your personal use,” Abubakary Jawara read condition A of the license issued to him by the Police. 

“You told this court that the guns were for commercial purposes. The license you produce before this honourable court said it is for personal use only,” Counsel Fatty told the court. 

Before Abubakary Jawara answered the question, the judge presiding over the case Justice Bakre told Counsel Fatty no need to ask the Jawara about the documents, he will go through them. 

“The documents speak for themselves,” Justice Bakre told Counsel Fatty. 

Momodou Sabally (the defendant) has been served a Writ of Summons to appear before the High Court in Banjul on November 14th, 2022, to respond to a civil suit filed by Abubakar Jawara (the plaintiff). 

Abubakary Jawara is claiming: Damages for defamation and slander; an order directing the defendant (Momodou Sabally) to issue an unreserved apology to the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara) to be published widely circulating national newspapers; An Order that the defendant does pay to the plaintiff the sum of GMB 8,000,000.00 being special damages; A perpetual injunction restraining the defendant (Momodou Sabally) either through his agents, cronies, associates, contacts, or further defaming, the plaintiff (Abubakary Jawara) in any way or manner whosoever; Interest at the rate of 15% per annum until the date of judgment; Cost; and for such further or others as this Honourable Court deems fit. 

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