Complainant’s wife testifies in NIA theft case

Monday, April 20, 2009
Mariama Sarjo Jallow, wife of the complainant, Christopher Badjie, on Monday testified as a prosecution witness in the ongoing 1.6 million dalasis case involving two NIA officers, Demba Sowe and Baboucarr Jallow, who are accused of theft, abuse of office and conspiracy before the Bundung Magistrates Court.

Testifying before Acting Principal Magistrate Kumba Sillah-Camara, Mariama Sarjo Jallow, a student resident in Bijilo, said on February 27, 2008 at around 1pm, while at home,  she heard a knock on the door. She said that when she opened the door, she saw her husband with the second accused, Baboucarr Jallow, and two other NIA officers, Wadda and Mamaut.

She said Baboucarr Jallow told her that he was going to search the house but did not tell her for what purpose.  She added that Baboucarr Jallow asked her to sit down while he entered the bedroom. According to her, after searching the house, Baboucarr Jallow ordered that “I hand over the house keys to him, and he then locked the house”.

She further stated that the NIA officers ordered her and her husband to follow them to the NIA headquarters in Banjul and added that at the NIA headquarters, they were told to sit down and Baboucarr Jallow then asked her husband to follow him inside. According to her, only Jallow returned to the waiting room after he had closed from work “to inform me that we were going to spend the night at the headquarters”.  She went on to say that on the following day she felt ill and was taken to hospital by Wadda before being discharged the following morning.

She also testified that upon her return to the NIA headquarters, she was told by Jallow to go and collect her bank book and make some withdrawals from the bank. According to her, Baboucarr Jallow told her that if she failed to withdraw the money from the bank she would spend the rest of her life at the headquarters. She said she then went to her house and collected the bank book to cash D51,000,  and then handed it over to Baboucarr Jallow.

According to her, it was then that Baboucarr Jallow asked her to phone her father for him (her father) to bail, following which she was asked to report to the NIA headquarters every day.  She said Jallow gave her back her keys but upon entering her house, she found out it had been messed up.

According to her, she then proceeded to where her husband had kept D1.6 million plus D20,000, in a bag but found out that it had disappeared. According to her, during her daily visits to the NIA headquarters, she asked Baboucarr about the money she had given him but was told by the second accused, Demba Sowe: “you cannot have it again because your husband stole the money”. She added that Demba Sowe told her that they had in their possession the D51,000 and the 1.6 million.  

DPP RN Chenge and SH Bakum represented the state. The accused persons were represented by Lawyer Kebba Sanyang and Lawyer MM Camara. The case continues today.
Author: by Salifu M. Touray