NDEA officer refuses to disclose informant

Friday, October 31, 2008
Pa Omar Badjie, an officer of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) attached to the Bansang Police Station in the Central River station, has told the Banjul Magistrates Court that he cannot disclose the source of his information or the name of his informants. 

“It is not expected of me to disclose the name of my informer.  We are expected to protect our informers or sources of our information,” the NDEA officer told the court.

The NDEA officer made these remarks whilst responding to cross examination from Amie Joof-Conteh, counsel for Dawda Manneh, ex-National Assembly member (NAM) for Nianija, CRR, and Demba Baldeh. The duo are currently standing trial on charges of drug peddling.

Pa Omar Badjie testified that 13 big bundles of cannabis contained in a black plastic bag were recovered from the vehicle of Dawda Manneh at the Sololo police check point, also in the CRR.

Badjie had earlier on in his testimony stated that on the 13th of September 2008, he received a phone call telling him to be on the lookout for a Pajero with the registration number BJL 5352B.  He added that the caller also told him that the Pajero was loaded with cannabis and was heading towards Bansang.  

“I went to the checkpoint with my colleagues and told the police on duty there to stop the suspected Pajero. Within 39 minutes, the said Pajero arrived and was stopped. The first accused identified himself as Honorable Dawda Manneh and the second as Demba Baldeh.  A search was conducted on the vehicle and 13 bundles of cannabis contained in a black bag were recovered.  

The two accused persons were taken to the Bansang Police Station, where both cautionary and voluntary statements were obtained from them in the presence of an independent witness.  A few days later, they were brought to the NDEA Headquarters in Banjul and were handed over to the officers on duty,” he narrated.

According to the NDEA officer, the suspected drug was taken to the Weight and Measure Unit, where it was weighed and a certificate, which he and both accused persons signed, was issued.

The said certificate, voluntary and cautionary statements were all tendered and marked as exhibits.

The case was adjourned to 6th Novemebr 2008.

Author: by Sanna Jawara