"There was confusion, confrontation"- Oley Sey

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Miss Oley Sey, former nominated member of the National Assembly and the first accused person in the ongoing criminal case of conspiracy to commit felony and theft, filed in by the state against her and Abdouraman Bah, coordinator of James Junkung Jammeh Nursery School in Abuko, yesterday told the court that there was total confusion and confrontation between Abdouraman Bah and the community of Abuko over the D500,000 gift from the President of the Republic.

"The meeting, which was held at the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education between the community of Abuko and the second accused person (Abdouraman Bah) was characterised by heated confrontation and confusion, but the accused, Abdouraman Bah, later confessed to having taken D100,000, out which he spent D20,000. He  alleged that he gave me D400,000, which is not true, he only gave me D200,000 for safekeeping,"Oley Sey told the court.

The ex-nominated member of the National Assembly, recalled a meeting  convened at the office of the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) between the community of Abuko  and Abdouraman Bah. According to Oley Sey, at the meeting, the lord Mayor received a phone call and was instructed, together with the community of Abuko and herself, to report to  the office of the SoS for Basic and Secondary Education in Banjul.

She added at the meeting in the SoS’s  office were the mayor of KMC, the Alkalo of Abuko, the head mistress of Abuko Lower Basic School and  Abdouraman Bah. According to Miss Sey, the second accused “Abdouraman Bah” was asked about the whereabouts of the money. He insisted that the money was in safe hands and urged members of the meeting to give him time to enable him to come back with Oley Sey, but his request was not granted.
 Instead he was pressed to produced the D500,000, immediately without leaving the place.

"I  emphasised  that I received only D200,000 from Abdouraman Bah for safekeeping instead of D400,000 as claimed by him. It was from there that the Mayor said Abdouraman Bah would have to be  dealt with. Some time later, an NIA officer called Victor came in and went with Abdouraman Bah, the Alkalo of Abuko, and the headmistress of Abuko Lower Basic School.

She said she was also  invited to the NIA headquarters, where a  cautionary statement was obtained from her but  according to her, she  wrote her own voluntary  statement, which was later summarised by one Omar Tunkara "a police officer attached to the NIA".

“I was refused bail till the following Monday. I spent the weekend at the NIA Headquarters," she explained to the court.

Lamin Camara, counsel for Oley Sey applied for the said voluntary statement written  by his client to be produced in court. "My lord, I am applying in pursuance of Section 127 (1) of the CPC for the said statement written by my client and summarised by officer Tunkara to be produced in court in order to tender and mark it as an exhibit," he said.  

Inspector Keita, prosecution officer for the case,  strongly objected to the submission of the defence  counsel. According to him, such a statement does not exist in the records of the prosecution.

"The only thing we have is the cautionary statement obtained from the accused, which was tendered and marked as an exhibit without objection from the defence. It was tendered in pursuance of Section 127 of the Evidence Act. The counsel’s application lacks merit and therefore, I urge the court to dismiss the submission of the defence counsel," the police prosecutor told the court.

 Lamin Camara countered the objection of the prosecution office, saying that his application had nothing to do with Exhibit D but the statement made by his client. He repeatedly referred to Section 127 (1) of the CPC. The presiding magistrate, Lamin  George, later overruled the submission of the prosecution and urged the NIA  to produce the statement written by Oley Sey. He subsequently adjourned the case to 6th October for continuation.

Author: By Sanna Jawara