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Witness Says Accused Persons’ Statements Show Their Involvement In Child’s Death

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Sainabou Mbye and Co accused on arrival at the High Court in Banjul

By Landing Ceesay

Fourth Prosecution Witness (PW4) who doubles as head of Police Investigators in the case, ASP Bakary Dibba on Wednesday said that the ‘revelations’ in the statements given by the accused persons during their investigation ‘clearly’ show their involvement in the death of the 2-year-old child, and that led to them being charged.

He informed the court that the accused persons (Sainabou Mbye- 1st accused, Cherno Mbye- 2nd accused, and Kibili Dambelly-3rd accused)were directly under the investigation of his office.

“I can remember on the 20th of July 2022. A case file was received from Bundung Serious Crime Unit involving the accused persons. At the time of receiving the file. It was Cherno Mbye (2nd accused) and Kibili Dembely (3rd accused) who were accompanied with the file as accused persons. The allegations in the file were centred on the demise of Baby Muhammad as Investigators sat down.

“We interacted with them in a form of an interview. They explained the circumstances surrounding the demise of baby Muhammad. As part of best practice, a team was dispatched to my office headed by myself, together with four or five officers. In the Persons of ASP Francis Jatta, ASP Jally M.I Senghore, (PW3), Inspector Bunang Bass Manga, Corporal Samba Mballow, and of course 1st Class Omar Jammeh. Together with the accused persons,” he explained to the court.

ASP Dibba who has been in the police for 12 years, now an investigator as well asa supervisor responsible for the day-to-day activities of the office said when they were reconstructing the crime scene in Brusubi, the information they received from the 2nd accused and 3rd accused was that 1st accused (Sainabou Mbye) was was in Dakar, Senegal.

He told the court that the rationale for reconstructing the crime scene was to get first-hand knowledge; and that when they arrived in Brusubi, 2nd accused took them “patiently” to the new apartment and showed them where the vehicle was parked, the vehicle in which Baby Muhammad (deceased) was, for their thorough observation.

The witness informed the court that the 2nd accused told them that on the day of the incident he was the driver of the vehicle.

“He gave us an explanation of the passengers to the vehicle. That himself, (2nd accused), Sainabou (1st accused), Kibili (3rd accused) baby Muhammad (decreased), and 2 other kids of Sainabou the names of whom I can’t remember. He showed us the direction of the truck that loaded their luggage to the new apartment from their old one. Kibili (3rd accused) equally showed us, the stone he sat on at one moment just at the compound gate.

“Having got all these guides on them, we now applied the actual crime scene proceedings by measuring from the front tire of the vehicle to the compound gate. Equally, from the rare tire to the compound gate, (and) from the stone Kibili sat on. Having got all these measurements from the vehicle to the opposite compound wall, we gather all these measurements. I now put up the sketch plan for the crime scene. Specifically, where the vehicle was, to all other fixed objects with the correct measurement,” the witness told the court.

The police investigator further told the court that they proceeded to interact with the neighbours within the crime scene, and said they then met a lady opposite to the rented compound of Sainabou Mbye (1s accused), who explained to them what she witnessed from the incident; before they later interacted with other neighbours who gave them no further explanation. 

Dibba said they were later taken into the new apartment by 2nd accused and showed them where their belongings were parked from the truck, and equally showed them the position where sainabou was sitting busy on her phone.

“Having done the needful at the scene, a rough sketch was made and we finally drove back to the office to continue our investigation. This has to do with all other police actions including the final sketch plan that depicts the true incident that occurred at the scene. When you talk about reconstruction of the crime scene, we refer to revisiting the crime scene,” he said. 

The head of investigators informed the court that as the head of the investigation team, he personally did the sketching at the crime scene, and that every police should be able to sketch a crime scene.

“I drew the vehicle number and the compound labels on the sketch. I did the rough sketch at the scene, and the final one at the office,” he said. 

Then the Counsel for the State S.L Jobarteh applied to tender the sketch of the crime scene as part of evidence; and Justice Ebrima Jaiteh admitted the sketch as part of the Prosecution’s evidence, following objection by the defence. 

Continuing his testimony, witness Dibba said their investigation obtained statements from the accused persons, which were carried out by his subordinates, ASP Jally M.I Senghore (PW3) Corporal Samba Mballow (PW2), and Double Corporal Jankey Manneh (PW1). 

“Having recorded statements from the accused persons on their revelations in their statements; an investigative report was written showing clearly their involvement, and their responsibilities to the subject under investigation, and they were charged accordingly, and filed to the prosecution for onward proceeding at the court. The 1st accused was out of jurisdiction by then. 

“At the crime scene, the vehicle marked Nissan Rogue with registration number BJL 9392 Q was driven by Cherno Mbye. From his own narration, this vehicle was used to transport himself, Sainabou (who) was seated right in front of the car, and Kibili was seated directly behind Sainabou, (baby Muhammad was directly behind Cherno, and the two kids of Sainabou were in between Kibili and baby Muhammad. The vehicle was facing the west and it was directly opposite a compound called Marong Kunda,” he said. 

ASP Dibba told the court that the distance where the vehicle was parked to the gate of the newly rented apartment is 4.1 metres, and from the rare tire of the vehicle to the gate is 4.8 metres. 

He continued that the distance from the rare tire of the vehicle to the stone where Kibili was seated is 4.16 metres; and that from where the vehicle was actually parked to the southern part directly opposite a compound name unknown is 7.29 metres. 

“The basis of the sketch is to give true and actual picture of the crime scene. The narration I gave is actually the picture of our investigation,” he said. 

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 today at the High Court in Banjul. 

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