By Yankuba Jallow
Detective First Class Muhammed Lamin Bobb of the Gambia Police Force on Thursday testified in the case involving one Ismaila Ndong who is facing eight counts of rape, robbery and robbery with violence.
He said while on duty at the Anti-Crime Unit on the 8th December 2019, his Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Musa Corr informed them that there was a taxi driver who was engaged in raping and robbery of women and girls. Witness Bobb said they were told the driver used to take women and girls around Mile 7 and Jeshwang, thus rape and rob them.
After the briefing, two patrol teams were deployed for Vehicle Checking Point (VCP) and he was in the team headed by Sergeant Modou D. Kah (prosecution witness one). He said they mounted a checkpoint on the Mile 7 – Jeshwang highway.
The Bakoteh resident said at around 2 am on the 9th December 2019, a taxi came with four people including the driver. He said when they checked the taxi, they suspected the taxi driver and this was when he asked the driver and the three passengers to come down. First Class Bobb said the vehicle was inspected and they found the description of the vehicle they were told by their RSM.
The dreadlock policeman said the descriptions of the taxi and the driver were the driver put on a multi-coloured clothes on his dashboard, a white towel that he used to cover the faces of the victims when he was trying to rape or rob them, and that the driver had dreadlocks and used to wear multi-coloured hat, there were knives in the car and had beautifying ornaments in his ear.
The witness testified that the driver was escorted to Banjul to drop the passengers and was escorted back to the Anti-Crime Unit headquarters.
On the 9th December 2019, Ismaila Ndong and some other dreadlock drivers who were suspected of committing the crimes within Greater Banjul and West Coast Region were paraded by the Police for the complainants to identify their tormentor.
While the drivers were lined-up in a parade, the victims were brought one at a time to identify the dreadlock driver who raped and robbed them. The witness said when a victim identified Ismaila Ndong, she would be asked to go back while they changed the position and clothing of the accused person. The victim was called back and she pointed at the same person, Ismaila Ndong. The victim was asked to return and Ndong’s position and clothing were changed, but when the victim came back, she pointed at Ndong for the third time.
The witness said this was repeated for all the victims and they all pointed at Ismaila Ndong. He testified that the same process was repeated on different days but they all pointed at Ndong as their perpetrator.
“All the victims identified the accused person (Ndong) and this was when we began to search his car,” the witness adduced.
During the search, Witness Bobb said they recovered two small knives, four screw drivers, a white towel, a multi-coloured hat, a multi-coloured cloth placed on the dashboard and some beautifying ornaments from the car (taxi).
He said the recovered materials were placed before a panel of investigators set up to investigate the matter in which he was a member. The witness maintained that some of the mobile phones belonging to the victims were recovered.
Bobb testified that the taxes were paraded and the victims were brought one after the other to identify the suspected taxi and they all pointed at the accused person’s car.
Lawyer Naffisatou Bangura appeared for the State and Lawyer Kebba Sanyang represented the accused person.
The matter will be coming on Monday, 22nd June 2020 at 10 am for cross-examination