By Kebba Secka
Alieu Jallow, a herdsman and native of Essau is standing trial at Essau Magistrate’s Court for killing an antelope.
The department of Parks and Wildlife accused Jallow of illegally hunting or harvesting contrary to section 61 of the biological resources of the Natural Park Act cap 62:02 volume nine of the revised laws of the Gambia. The incident is said to have happened on 12th June, this year at the Nuimi National Pack in the North Bank Region. In his evidence in chief, PW1, Sajor Manneh said he went to the accused person’s compound in the night of the very day the antelope was killing and he found some pieces of meat being eaten by the defendant. He said he informed the accused that he works at Park and Wildlife and had received information that he illegally killed a bush animal and asked for the accused’s authority to search his house. He said when he searched the house, he found pieces of the antelope meat placed on the ground aten. He said he then took the four legs of the animal and took them to Barra Police Station where he gave a statement and the accused was subsequently arrested by the Police. At this juncture, prosecutor Sub Inspector Kebba Ceesay applied to tender the four legs as evidence. There was no objection from the accused and the application was granted and marked as exhibit P1.
In examination in chief, the prosecuting officer asked Pw1: “Did you know whether the accused person has license to hunt bush animal? ” The witness said he doesn’t know. Pw1 told the court that when he confronted the accused about the allegation that he killed a bush animal, he said the accused told him that he did not kill a bush animal, but a goat. He added that after he searched the house, he found the legs of antelope. He said the accused clearly knows the said animal should not be killed without authority. In cross examination, the accused asked: “How do you know that I used to hunt?” Witness said he used to get information from his informants.
“Did your informants inform you that they see me with a weapon?” The witness answered in the negative. The witness also agreed that when he went to search the residence of the accused, he did not find any weapon used in the killing of the antelope. Accused asked: “Did you ever see me hunting?” Pw1, answered: “No.” Accused finally put it to the witness that he is a herdsman who usually takes his cattle for grazing and on the 12 of June, 2019, he was returning home with his cattle when he found a wounded antelope that was lying on the ground. He said that was why it was easy for him to kill the animal.
Pw2, Yaya Manneh, an employee of the Park and Wildlife told the court that he was the one who saw the accused with the antelope while he was returning home. When asked whether he has knowledge of whether the accused has the authority to kill bush animal, PW2, said: “He does not have it.” During cross examination, accused asked Pw1 whether he found him with a weapon.