Abdoulie Ceesay denied bail again

The High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Mohammed Dan Azumi Balarabe, yesterday 17th September 2015 denied bail to Abdoulie Ceesay, the embattled managing director of Teranga FM radio Station.

Justice Mohammed D.A. Balarabe, in his ruling gave a recount of the submissions made by both the applicant counsel, Ajie Combeh Gaye-Coker and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), S H Barkum.

The Judge in his ruling, analyzed and evaluated the issues submitted by the lawyers and highlighted that four issues arose for determination and resolving the issues, the presiding Judge stated that the application by the accused/applicant was doomed to fail adding that it has failed in its entirety.

After the ruling on the bail, the 2nd prosecution witness (PW2), Fatou A. Drammeh continued her testimony and informed the court that after she received the message from the accused person, she was scared and as an ordinary citizen her mind reflected on the event of December 31st 2014 because prior to that event some warnings were sent to people about.

Promptly after she mentioned “about”, defence counsel Gaye-Coker raised an objection in line with the evidence the witness was trading into, arguing that it was irrelevant to the trial as what she was saying was not contained in the summary of evidence provided in the indictment.

The DPP in his response to the objection of the defence submitted that the piece of evidence was intended to state the reaction of the witness after she received the message from the accused, which is very relevant because it was intended to explain an event.

The Judge in a short ruling overruled the objection of the defence and the witness continued her testimony that, the 31st December 2014 event was when the country was attacked by some armed men leading to the death of some people.

She told the court that, even her parents advised her against attending the July 22nd celebrations and that she attended the celebration because she has a duty to fulfill as a result she intentionally went late during the recent celebration because she feared something bizarre might happen and so she left the grounds earlier than usual with her friend.

The witness identified the printout of the messages allegedly sent to her by the accused person and following her identification of the message printout, the DPP then applied to tender them for identification purposes which was accordingly admitted as ID (a) without objection from the defence.

According to PW2, on the 17th July 2015 which was the Koriteh day, she and her friend decided to go out and as she went to pick her up in Latrikunda German, the accused had a brawl with her friend and the accused alleged that they (PW2 and her friend) were responsible for his missing passport.

She told the court that the accused seized their freedom for nearly 3 hours, adding that her friend was crying and she eventually called the police who came to their aid as the accused spoilt the night for them as they went home from there.

Responding to questions during the cross examination, PW2 recalled making a statement at the NIA on the 20th July 2015 and she signed the said statement which she identified and handed to the defence lawyer.

Defence counsel Gaye-Coker at that juncture applied to tender the said statement in evidence as an exhibit but was meant with stern objection by the DPP who submitted that the defence did not comply with section 201 of the Evidence Act, stating that the defence did not make the proper foundation for the reception of the document.

Lawyer Gaye-Coker however submitted that, the DPP misconceived the provision of section 201 of the Evidence Act and pointed out that the purpose of her tendering the statement was to establish whether the witness did make the statement to the NIA as she was yet to start cross examining the witness on any part of the document.

The court sustained the objection and accordingly marked the said statement as rejected, continuing her testimony, PW2 told the court that she usd to communicate with the accused via Whatsapp and also through regular messages on her number 7399623 and the first date in the history of her chat with the accused was 3rd July 2015 and she do not know if they had communicated before that date.

She denied defence claim that she deleted the chats she had with the accused whilst he was in America and explained that she still has those messages in the phone. She added that, her phone was never taken from her until the date she wrote her statement and she only showed the investigators the images the accused sent to her.

At that juncture, the defence counsel Gaye- Coker applied for the Whatsapp chats between the witness and the accused on the two profiles of “Ala” and “Ala fuck u” be transcribed and the application was granted by the court.

The defence counsel then asked the witness, “Do you know where the image and message was copied from”?

The witness replied that it was sent to her by the accused.

Further asked as to whether she bothers to find out the origin of the said image and message, the witness claim not to understand the question.

Lawyer Gaye-Coker contended to the witness that, the image and its message was originally posted on Facebook by Fatou Camara on the 16th July 2015, to which she responded that she does not know and she knows nothing about those images on facebook and her facebook account is on privacy setting so nobody post anything on her wall without her approval.

She informed the court that, she knows Fatou Camara as she used to be a journalist in the country who once worked for the government either as the director of press or the press secretary and she is currently in the USA.

The witness adduced that she is not Fatou Camara’s friend and cannot remember being her friend on facebook.

PW2 said she knows that if any person posts anything on facebook, his/her friends and followers will see it and even those who search the person’s account.

The witness answer prompted the defence lawyer to ask her to search Fatou Camara through her phone but the DPP raised an objection which was sustained by the court.

Hearing continues on the 8th October 2015.