By Landing Ceesay
The Mother of the late Baby Muhammad, while testifying as the 6th Prosecution Witness (PW6) in the manslaughter case involving Sainabou Mbye (1st accused), Cherno Mbye (2nd accused) and, Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused) told the court that her child was ‘sick’ before the incident that reportedly led to his death.
“Yes, that’s true he was sick,” the witness said her response to the defence counsel’s question whether or not it is correct that baby Muhammad was sick prior to the incident that allegedly led to his dead.
In her testimony about her child’s death, the witness told the court that a day before the incident, baby Muhammad spent the night with her.
She informed the court that sometime in July 2022, at her residence they gathered their belongings to move to another apartment in Brusubi and that there was a vehicle that was carrying their belongings.
The witness said when the first trip was done, she was left at home to gather the remaining belongings for the second trip to the Brusubi apartment.
She said Cherno Mbye, Sainabou Mbye, Kibilly Dembelly and two of Sainabou’s children boarded their Nissan private vehicle; but said when the accused persons were about to leave to Brusubi, baby Muhammad was crying and wanted to go with them (the accused persons) and that was the time she then put him in the vehicle.
The mother told the court that the 1st and 2nd accused persons loved baby Muhammad (deceased) very much; and that Cherno Mbye (2nd accused) was the driver while Sainabou (1st accused) sat in the front seat, whereas Kibili (3rd accused) and the two children of the 1st accused used the back seat.
“I was left [home] parking the materials, while they left for Brusubi together with Muhammed who was sitting right behind Cherno,” she told the court.
The witness continued that the 2nd accused returned for the second trip, and she joined him in the Nissan vehicle; while Kibili (3rd accused) joined the truck carrying their belongings.
She told the court that on arrival at Brusubi, she saw many people at their new apartment and when she went inside the compound, she found baby Muhammed in the hands of a lady called Adama Bojang (5th Prosecution Witness).
“The clothes Muhammed was wearing were wet, and Muhammed was unconscious. That’s the time I shouted, crying and I was told not to cry. My child would be fine. The accused persons then took him to the hospital,” she told the court.
The woman told the court that Adama Bojang (PW5) told her that she is the one who poured water on baby Muhammad.
Counsel S. L Jobarteh for the state then asked the witness under whose care did she leave her child; and the witness responded that she did not leave her child under anybody’s care, and that she only put him in the accused persons’ vehicle.
The Counsel further asked her whether the 1st and 2nd accused persons were aware of baby Muhammad’s presence in the vehicle; and the witness said she did not think so, saying ‘because the 1st accused was on call when I was putting baby Muhammad in the vehicle’.
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.
Counsels S. L Jobarteh, and F. Drammeh are representing the State; while I. Drammeh is representing the 1staccused; and C. Gaye and Miss Twum are representing the 2nd and 3rd accused persons in the trial.
The case would continue at the High Court in Banjul later this week.