By Yankuba Jallow
Lawyer Segga Gaye, the sole Defence Counsel in the diplomatic passport scandal case involving Mansa Sumareh and Ebrima J Sanneh, has on Monday, 7th June 2021 commenced cross-examination of Commissioner Olimatou Jammeh.
Jammeh is the head of the diplomatic passport unit at the Gambia Immigration Department. Mansa Sumareh was former State House driver and Ebrima J. Sanneh was a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The two are standing trial on charges of conspiracy and forgery. They are accused of conspiring among themselves to procure Gambian diplomatic passports.
Commissioner Jammeh concluded her evidence in-chief before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul High Court on Monday. She said the letter of approval was not accompanied by official stamp.
“Who in your office discovered that?” Lawyer Patrick Gomez asked.
“The matter was reported to me by my operations commander – Superintendent Omar Fofana,” witness Jammeh said.
“What was the nature of the complaint?” Asked Lawyer Gomez.
“He said that it was the Liaison Officer responsible for service and diplomatic passports who reported to him that the approval from the Office of the President relating to Bakary Suso was missing official stamps from the Office of the President and [Ministry] of Foreign Affairs,” Jammeh replied.
Her police statement dated 26th April 2021 was tendered and admitted into evidence as Exhibit P9. She said from their record book, Ebrima J. Sanneh, the 2nd accused person’s name was found at page 14 at line 4.
On cross-examination by Defence Counsel Segga Gaye, Commissioner Jammeh said Ebrima J. Sanneh’s name, who is the 2nd accused person in this matter, appeared in the diplomatic passport record book more than 21 times.
“You will agree with me that the 2nd accused person’s name is featured heavily in that book,” asked Lawyer Gaye.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Can you count the number of times the 2nd accused person’s name was recorded in that book?” Lawyer Gaye asked.
“21 times and more,” she answered.
“You will agree with me that the 2nd accused person is a regular visitor at your office,” Gaye quizzed.
“Yes,” she said.
“You will agree with me that those visits were in accordance with his duties,” Gaye asked.
“I agree,” she answered.
“You will agree with me that those visits were to escort applicants of diplomatic passports and to collect passports,” Gaye questioned.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Madam Witness, you did not call Ndey Awa Cham,” the Lawyer said.
“I did not call Ndey Awa Cham,” Jammeh said.
“Instead you called one Salimatou Touray,” the lawyer said.
“Yes, I called Salimatou Touray,” she said.
“You did not speak to Ndey Awa Cham throughout this process,” the lawyer said.
“I did not speak to Ndey Awa Cham,” she said.
“You will agree with me that the conclusion reached by Salimatou Touray from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was her mere opinion –nothing more,” the Lawyer said.
“Yes, that is her opinion,” she said.
The case was adjourned to Wednesday, 9th June 2021 at 12:30 noon.