By Yankuba Jallow
Baboucar Makalo, an adult Gambian has denied charges of rape and impersonating a police officer.
Makalo, an adult Gambia is accused of raping a woman on the 1st November 2018 under coercive circumstance.
Prosecution witness Baboucar Petit Jallow, a policeman attached at the Banjul Police Intervention Unit, said on the night of the incident, he was on duty at the Trade Fair held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. The policeman testified that on this particular night, the accused person was dressed in all black outfit and was standing somewhere around the Friendship Hostel in Bakau. He said while going to the shop to buy green tea and bread, he passed Makalo standing and holding a torchlight and on his way back from the shop, he met up with the husband of the victim who told him to accompany him to the Hostel. He detailed that when as he was going with the victim’s husband, they met him on the way and the husband asked ‘Is he the one who raped you’ but the victim responded in the negative.
He said when he asked the victim and her husband about the matter, the husband explained that the wife was (supposedly) raped by a PIU officer and he was looking for the man.
The witness said the woman described the man to him and after making the descriptions, “I told her I suspect Babucar Makalo because he was the one I found standing at the place.”
The witness testified that at this point, she informed the victim that the suspect was not personnel of the Police Intervention Unit.
At this point, the witness testified that he called on a police CID (criminal investigator) to come and after the CID came, he began investigating the matter.
The police testified that the victim was brought to the PIU base to see if she could identify the assailant, but at the end the victim said none of the PIU personnel was involved in the unlawful sexual conduct.
The witness adduced that the following day, he was called to Bakau Police Station where the accused person, Makalo was detained. He said he was able to identify Makalo from the midst of many police detainees, but when identified, Makalo denied ever knowing him.
The witness recalled that he used to meet Makalo always at night around the vicinity of the Independence Stadium.
“Every time I met him (the accused person) at night, he was always with a torchlight,” the witness told the Court, in response to the question by Lawyer Muhammed B. Sowe regarding his previous interactions with the accused person.
The witness gave evidence that on the night of the incident, the clothes the accused person wore resembled the PIU uniform and the only difference was the pocket and the trousers.
The witness recollected that there was a day when Makalo was moving around at night with a torch and when asked “Who?” he responded “Sergeant Manneh” but when they approached him they found out it was Makalo.
“We wanted to arrest him, but he quickly changed his statement as he denied calling himself as Sergeant Manneh. This was how we let him go,” the witness said.
In another incident, the witness said the accused threatened to stab one Corporal Sarjo Jallow as he cited other incidents involving the accused with the police in which he was present.
The matter was adjourned to 20th, 21st, 22nd and 26th October 2020 at 10 am, 12:30 pm, 10:15 am and 10 am respectively.