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Witness Testifies To Ousainou Bojang’s Denial of Charges in Second Police Encounter

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Ousainou Bojang and his sister Amie Bojang in Court

By Landing Ceesay 

Alieu Cham, a businessman from Sukuta enlisted by the Police Anti Crime Unit as an independent witness, continued his testimony in court, stating that Ousainou Bojang, the accused in a case involving the death of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) Officers, denied all charges during his second encounter with the Police.

Cham informed the court that he was summoned by the Police five to seven days after witnessing Ebou Sowe obtaining statements from Ousainou Bojang on September 15, 2024. Recounting the event, Cham described being taken to the Anti Crime Unit at the airport, where Bojang was brought in, charges were read out to him, and he adamantly denied them, despite multiple papers presented.

“I was called to the Anti Crime Unit. We boarded a vehicle and went inside the airport to the Police Station there. I entered the station and to one office then Ousainou Bojang was brought in where we were seated, and some papers were brought in by Sowe (PW1). The charges were read out to him, and Sowe asked him whether he agreed to the charges or not. But that day he did not accept any of the charges and the papers were more than 3,” Mr. Cham told the court. 

Regarding allegations of mistreatment, Cham clarified that he did not witness any such actions during the encounter.

Under cross-examination, Cham affirmed that the interaction with Bojang occurred at the Police Station within the airport premises. He recalled being called while in Salagi and transported to the Anti Crime Unit, clarifying it was his first involvement in such a situation.

“I don’t know the person who called me. I just received a call, and I was asked whether I was Alieu Cham, the independent witness. I told him yes, and he asked me to go to the Police Station, and I was taken to the Police Station inside the Airport,” he told the court. 

However, Mr. Cham said he could not remember the time he was called, but it was during the weekend. 

“So do you habitually act as an independent witness for the police?” Counsel Lamin J. Darboe asked Mr. Cham. 

“No, this is my first to be involved in such a situation,” Mr. Cham, the witness, told the court. 

Cham detailed the setting at the airport police station, mentioning his unfamiliarity with most individuals present except for Sowe. He noted Sowe’s conversation with Bojang primarily in Mandinka, contrasting with a previous encounter where both Mandinka and Wolof were spoken.

“I don’t know anybody among them except for Sowe. Because of the vehicle that took me, I was in that vehicle with Sowe, the driver, and one person in front. Sowe and I were sitting at the back. When we entered the room, there were two people watching football,” he said. 

“Were they still watching football when the voluntary statements were taken?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked the witness. 

“Yes, that was what they were doing. Because they greeted each other and there was a table at one side and another table at another side. They sat at one table, and we sat at the other one,” the witness testified. 

“But that is a very small room, how can two activities take place in that small room at the same time?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked the witness again. 

“When I arrived, I found people sitting at their table, and the table we were supposed to sit does not even have chairs. After they brought chairs from the table opposite and the three of us sat down,” the witness responded. Counsel Lamin J. Darboe inquired about Sowe’s language usage during the proceedings. Cham stated that Sowe conversed solely in Mandinka during their encounter, although he acknowledged a previous occasion where both Mandinka and Wolof were spoken.

“On that day, I did not pay attention to Sowe Speaking any other language apart from Mandinka, sometimes they speak both Mandinka and Wolof but on that day they spoke only Mandinka,” he said. 

The witness said the day Sowe and Ousainoh Bojang were speaking in both Mandinka and Wolof, was on the 15th of September 2023. 

“Is it correct that Mr. Sowe was speaking exclusively in Wolof and sometimes speak in Mandinka? Counsel LJ Darboe asked the witness. 

“That might be possible, but I was not paying attention to that,” the witness responded. 

“You told the court that on that day Mr. Sowe was speaking in Wolof and sometime in Mandinka. What you told the court is what am I repeating,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness. 

“That was the first day, they were speaking both in Mandinka and Wolof. But the second day what I can remember is that they were speaking only in Mandinka,” the witness told the court. 

Still under cross-examination, the witness told the court that he was not aware of any time Mr. Sowe spoke to Ousainou Bojang in English. 

“Can you tell the court how Mr. Sowe told the first accused we are obtaining these cautionary statements. How did he say that in Wolof?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked the witness. 

“I can understand Wolof Language when it is spoken, but I cannot speak in Wolof. I heard him speaking to Ousainou Bojang in Wolof, but I cannot say it,” the witness told the court. 

When asked whether he told Mr. Sowe that he could not speak Wolof, the witness responded in the positive. 

“So Mr. Sowe continues to talk to Ousainou Bojang in Wolof even though you told him that you couldn’t speak Wolof?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked the witness. 

“Yes, When he was taking the statements, he will read them to me in Mandinka for my understanding,” the witness responded. 

“Mr. Cham, I am putting it to you that you were never there acting as an independent witness when the first accused person’s statements were obtained at the premises of the Anti Crime Unit,” Counsel LJ Darboe put it to the witness. 

“I was there, I am under oath, and I am a very young man,” the witness told the court. 

“Your presence at the Airport was recorded, but your presence at Anti Crime was never recorded,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness.

“Friday, I was not there to be a witness. A white lady bought a vehicle from me, I don’t know whether is her boyfriend or not, but she called and asked me to go to Anti Crime. The boy had been arrested. I drove to Anti Crime, before I entered, I stood at the gate and called the white lady, and she asked me to go through the back gate. So I went through the back gate and stood under a mango tree. I was waiting for the white lady, but I did not see her. 

“So as I was standing, someone came, I did not know Sowe and I have never met him before. He told me that they had a case and wanted me to be a witness. I asked him how because I had never done this before. I told him that I was there for a mission and that day was our Nawettan game. So I entered inside, and within five minutes Ousainou Bojang was brought. I told him no, I am not here for this. I could remember Ousainou’s face that he was the one accused of killing the police officers. When I saw his face, I could remember the pictures I saw on the internet. I was not comfortable, so I told Sowe that I am not here for this, and I was in a hurry,” the witness told the court. 

“I am putting it to you that you know Sowe very well. He lives in a part of Sukuta where you used to live before you moved to Salagi,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness.

However, the witness insisted that he did not know Mr. Sowe anywhere and that was the first time they met. 

“I have never seen Sowe before, that was the first time I saw him. I swear to the holy Quran, I am saying what I know. I am a very young man,” the witness insisted. 

On what time they started the engagement, the witness told the court that It started between 11am to 12pm. 

He said they were there until Jummah prayer and that day they did not go to the prayer. 

“Did Mr. Sowe allow you to make or receive calls during the engagement?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked. 

“Yes, I received calls, one of them was from my boys at the camping and I asked them to go to the field so that I could meet them there. I think it was three times,” the witness told the court. 

“I am putting it to you that you made more than 20 calls when Ousainou’s cautionary statements were supposedly taken by Mr. Sowe,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness. 

“I know it is more than 3 times, but I don’t think it is more than 20 calls. I make calls and speak with my players because I am a coach,” the witness told the court.  

“I am putting it to you that, according to the Police diary, the first accused was with the panel from 10:55am and was taken back to his cell at 15:58 pm,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness.  

“I have no idea about that,” the witness responded. 

“I am putting it to you that you were at the Anti Crime that day, but you did not speak the truth when you say you acted as an independent witness,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the witness. 

“What I said is the truth, I swore to the holy Quran, I am youth and I will not lie under oath,” the witness said. 

The case was then adjourned to the 26th of February 2024 for cross-examination. 

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