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“You Fabricated Your Story To Collect D1 Million” Defense Lawyer Tells Mama Jabbi 

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Mama Jabbi, Prosecution witness

By Landing Ceesay 

During cross-examination of the third prosecution witness, Mama Jabbi, defense attorney Lamin J. Darboe, representing Ousainou Bojang (the first accused), accused the witness of concocting her entire testimony in order to claim a D1 million reward promised by President Adama Barrow.

During the proceedings, Counsel LJ Darboe inquired whether Mama Jabbi had visited Mankamang Kunda, President Barrow’s home village, within the past three months. Mama Jabbi responded that she had not been to Mankamang Kunda in quite some time and could not recall visiting there in the preceding three months.

“According to your call records (exhibit C1), you were physically present in Mankamang Kunda on the 30th of September 2023,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. 

“I passed through Manakamang Kunda when I was going to a funeral during the rainy season,” Mama Jabbi responded.  

“I am also putting it to you that on the 1st of November 2023, you were physically present in Mankagmang Kunda according to your call records (exhibit C1),” Counsel LJ Darboe put it to Mama Jabbi. 

“I cannot remember that,” Mama Jabbi responded. 

“I am putting it to you that on the 12th of October 2023, you were physically present in Mankamang Kunda according to your call records (exhibit C1),” Counsel LJ Darboe put to Mama Jabbi again. 

“I cannot remember when that happened because that was not me,” Mama Jabbi again insisted. 

Counsel LJ Darboe informed Mama Jabbi that, in contradiction to her earlier testimony, there was no mention by the 1st accused, Ousainou Bojang, at any point about the killing of two Police Officers and the injury of a third. However, Mama Jabbi maintained her assertion that Ousainou Bojang personally informed her about the killing of two Police Officers at Sukuta Traffic Lights, with one being at the hospital.

“I am putting it to you that you fabricated your story, and accused an innocent man just so you could collect the D1 million pledge by His Excellency the President of the Republic, for information about the killer or killers of the Police Officers,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. Before Mama Jabbi could reply to Counsel LJ Darboe, the objection of Counsel LJ Darboe’s assertion was raised by the Director of Public Prosecution, AM Yusuf.

DPP Yusuf contended that Counsel LJ Darboe’s cross-examination of the witness had certain limitations. He argued that Counsel LJ Darboe’s question was aimed at insulting Mama Jabbi, suggesting that she had fabricated the story to obtain D1 million.

DPP Yusuf urged the court to dismiss the question under the provisions of the Evidence Act.
In response, Counsel LJ Darboe underscored the significance of the question, emphasizing its relevance to the core of the matter and Mama Jabbi’s personal motivation for providing information about the perpetrator or perpetrators.

Counsel LJ Darboe maintained that the question did not constitute an insult.

“This is a fair question, is very essential to the defense case. Since she (Mama Jabbi) was the one who said that the 1st accused (Ousainou Bojang) confessed to the killing of Police Officers,” Counsel LJ Darboe argued. In addressing the objection raised by the State Counsel, Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, serving as the presiding judge, dismissed the objection put forth by DPP Yusuf. He asserted that the purpose of Section 202 of the Evidence Act is to assess the credibility of witnesses.

The presiding judge, Hon. Justice Jaiteh, clarified that Counsel LJ Darboe’s inquiry was aimed at evaluating the credibility of Mama Jabbi and not intended as an insult. Consequently, Hon. Justice Jaiteh directed Mama Jabbi to provide a response to Counsel LJ Darboe’s question.

In reply to the query, Mama Jabbi affirmed that she had not fabricated any story and clarified that she is not affiliated with any particular forum.

 “I was not aware that a million dalasis was at stake and the killing was not done in my presence,” Mama Jabbi told the court.  Counsel LJ Darboe inquired about Mama Jabbi’s acquaintance with Musa Camara’s wife. She stated that she has known Musa Camara’s wife since the time of her marriage. However, Mama Jabbi couldn’t recall the exact number of years since their acquaintance began.

When questioned about her knowledge of Musa Camara’s mother, Mama Jabbi confirmed that she indeed knows her. She informed the court that Musa Camara’s mother is Maimuna Barrow, affectionately known as Korka, and resides in Yarambamba.

“Do you know if Korka is in any way related to the President of the Republic of the Gambia at all?,” Counsel LJ asked Mama Jabbi. 

DPP Yusuf raised an objection to Counsel LJ Darboe’s question, stating that Mama Jabbi’s response would likely be based on hearsay or personal opinion.

DPP Yusuf emphasized that only Korka herself could provide a direct answer to Counsel LJ Darboe’s question, as any response from Mama Jabbi would likely be based on secondhand information or personal beliefs, which is considered hearsay and inadmissible as evidence.

“My lord, that is a confounded objection, we are not asking her opinion, we are asking her to tell us whether she knows or not. The question is for factual purposes,” Counsel LJ Darboe responded to DPP Yusuf.  Following presentations from both sides, Hon. Justice Jaiteh dismissed the objection raised by DPP Yusuf.

The judge clarified that the posed question neither amounted to hearsay nor opinion, ensuring it would not adversely affect or inconvenience the witness.

Subsequently, Hon. Justice Jaiteh directed Mama Jabbi to respond to the inquiry.

Mama Jabbi informed the Court that Maimuna Barrow and President Adama Barrow are siblings, sharing the same parents.

“But I asked you on the 20th of November, 2023 whether you know Musa Camara’s mother you said no, you don’t know her,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. 

“I did not say that I don’t know Musa Camara’s Mother,” Mama Jabbi told the court. 

“My lord, the records will reflect on her answer,” Counsel LJ Darboe told the court. 

“I asked you whether you know Musa Camara’s relationship with the President you said no, do you still stand on that ground?,” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi. 

Before Mama Jabbi had a chance to respond, the Director of Public Prosecution requested Hon. Justice Jaiteh to review the records to confirm whether that was indeed the question asked.

Hon. Justice Jaiteh examined the records and informed the court that the question had been posed exactly as stated, and Mama Jabbi’s response was in the negative.

“Yes, I am still standing by that answer,” Mama Jabbi told the court. 

“You said under oath that you removed your sim card from the phone because of the insults you were receiving, is that correct?” Counsel LJ Darboe asked Mama Jabbi. “Yes,” Mama Jabbi responded. 

Mama Jabbi informed the court that she had removed both SIM cards from her phones, rendering them inactive. However, she was unable to recall the precise date she ceased using the SIM cards.

“I am putting it to you that when you first told the court that you were not using your Africell line on the 21st November 2023, you were actually using it as of 21st November,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. 

“I was not using it,” Mama Jabbi responded. 

“I am putting it to you that you used your Africell up to the 22nd of November according to the Africell call log (exhibit C1),” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. 

“Since after receiving all those insults, I have stopped using my Africell. All because I want peace,” Mama Jabbi told the court. 

“I am putting it to you that other than your name, your occupation as a housewife, your address as Sukuta, your evidence in chief was just out of your imagination,” Counsel LJ Darboe told Mama Jabbi. 

“All that I say here is not fabricated, is what happened, and I am under oath,” Mama Jabbi said. 

The case was then adjourned to today for the evidence in chief of the Fourth Prosecution Witness (PW4) 

Background of the Case 

On September 21, 2023, Ousainou and Amie Bojang made their initial appearance before Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, facing charges related to the shooting incident at Sukuta Jabang Traffic Lights, which resulted in the tragic deaths of two PIU officers and severe injury to another on September 12, 2023.

The police had initially levelled four charges against the accused, including two murder charges, an act of terrorism charge, and an accessory after the fact to murder charge. Subsequently, Principal Magistrate Omar Jabang transferred the murder trial to the Special Criminal Division of the High Court of The Gambia.

On October 12, 2023, the case was presented before Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court of The Gambia.

On October 19, 2023, the State brought six charges against Ousainou Bojang, the prime suspect in the deaths of two Police Intervention Unit (PIU) officers, and a single charge against his elder sister, Amie Bojang.

On October 24, 2023, both Ousainou Bojang and Amie Bojang entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. 

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