By Yankuba Jallow
Kebba Sanyang, the lawyer for one Ismaila Ndong, who is facing criminal charges of rape and robbery of five women on Monday, 7th December concluded the cross-examination of first prosecution witness, an alleged victim of rape and robbery.
Ismaila Ndong is an adult male Gambian, who pleaded not guilty to 16 criminal charges levelled against him.
According to the particulars of the offence, Mr Ndong, on or about the 4th December 2019 in Bakau intentionally and under coercive circumstance engaged in a sexual act with the first prosecution witness (name withheld).
On the second count, Ndong is charged with robbery with violence in which it has been alleged that on the same day in Bakau, he put the first prosecution witness at a knife point and hit her on the face and forcefully took D12,9000, bottle of spray, Bluetooth speaker valued at D300, power bank, four mobile phones – Samsung Galaxy S6, Iphone 8 and two simple mobile phones valued at D10,000, D13,000 and D800 as well as a wig valued at D25,000.
He is accused of intentionally and under coercive circumstance engaged in sexual act with several women. He is also accused of taking properties from the women he used to carry on town-trips.
The alleged victim whose name is withheld continued giving her testimony before Justice Francis Apangabuno Achibonga of the Banjul High Court.
The witness testified that the accused person, Ismaila Ndong took her on a town-trip but in turn engaged her in a sexual act against her will. She said Ndong was with a boy who he (Ndong) asked to remove her clothes, adding the boy unzipped her shirt and pushed it down. The sixth prosecution witness explained that after this, the boy began pressing her breasts while he was filming her actions.
She said the boy searched her looking for gold and silver necklaces.
“That was the time he took off my trouser and put his hands in my pussy. He began romancing me by putting one of his fingers inside my pussy (private part),” she said.
She added: “While he was doing that, he was taking a video of it. He told me any mistakes I make he will push the video in the internet and expose me.”
She told the Court after the process, she was asked to go home straight adding she was warned not to go to the police by her tormentors.
She testified that the process lasted for more than forty-five minutes.
“Where was Ismaila Ndong while this was happening?” asked Lawyer Kimbeng Tah for the State.
She said Ndong was there and was requesting her to call her family to send them money. She detailed that when she informed them that her father was late and her mother was a market vendor, the other boy slapped her and told her to remember their warnings to her.
She said the other boy threatened to stab her if she turns back while she is going adding while she was going, the boy moved backward and got into the taxi as they drove away.
She said when she reached home her sister took her to the Kairaba Police Station where she gave her statement. She said she found two other victims with the same complaint and they were all taken to the crime scene by the police. She said there was an identification parade held at the Anti-Crime Unit where she identified the accused person among a line-up of dreadlock taxi drivers.
On cross-examination, the alleged victim said she made her statement at the Anti-Crime Unit on the 9th December 2019. She denied Lawyer Sanyang’s statement that she came to know the accused person after the publication of his photograph and his vehicle on social media.
“He was the one who picked me in his car and took me behind the stadium and robed me and stripped me naked,” she said.
“Do you want this court to believe you?” Lawyer Sanyang asked.
“He [the accused person] told he was with in the car to take my clothes and take a video of me,” the witness said.
“I am putting it to you that you are not speaking the truth,” Sanyang said.
“It is definitely the truth,” she said.
She said the accused person was identified at an identification parade conducted at the Anti-Crime Unit.
The witness said the boy who was with the accused person was never brought before her for identification.
Lawyer Sanyang insisted that the social media publication of the photograph of the accused person and that of his vehicle were made well before the identification parade. For her part, the alleged victim said she recognised the accused person adding the identification parade was done first before the social media publication.
“The accused person has nothing to do with you,” Lawyer Sanyang said.
“He did,” the witness replied.
“I am putting it to you that he [the accused person] did not pick you in his vehicle,” Sanyang said.
“He picked me in his vehicle,” the witness replied.
The case was adjourned to 15th and 18th December 2020 at 9:30 am.