By Louise Jobe
The NAWEC fuel theft case continues at the Brikama Magistrate Court, presided over by Magistrate A. Mendy on Wednesday 06th May 2022. The trial is between the Inspector General of Police and twelve NAWEC staff, with the latter accused of stealing fuel valued at forty-four thousand dalasi, which property belongs to NAWEC.
The Police prosecutor in the case who represented the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is sub-Inspector B. Jarju while Counsel Y. Baldeh appeared for the twelve accused persons.
A police officer and prosecution witness four, in this case, is Ebou Sowe, who is attached to the Anti-crime unit of the Gambia, together with detective Corporal 6373 of the Gambia Police Force, both testified that they recognised the accused persons.
Corporal Sowe told the Court that during the course of investigations, 25 containers of 20 litres of gasoline each, were recovered because the items were on board a NAWEC vehicle with registration number WCR 8620 A; that the said containers were stolen from the nawec power station at Brikama, by the accused person; that accused persons are headed by 1st accused Nyunka Manneh and his entire shift team, and that when the fuel was removed from the power station, it was sold to one Bubacarr Jallow of Brikama Nema. The prosecution witness said when the vehicle reached the said residence of Jallow, the police arrested the driver and escorted him to the Anti-crime base where he stated that the fuel was given to him by Nyunka Manneh, who was also invited to the station and confessed upon interrogation. The prosecution witnesses told the Court that Nyunka confessed that he and his team were responsible for stealing the fuel and called the names of persons involved, who were all arrested, cautioned and charged for the offences they committed; that during the course of the investigation he visited the power station and saw how the fuel was stolen, after which he wrote his report. When asked whether he will be able to recognise the said containers of fuel, the witness confirmed in the affirmative and identified the said gallons.
Sub-inspector B Jarju applied to tender the said containers identified by the witness as exhibits but defence Counsel Y. Baldeh objected to this and contended that a proper foundation has not been laid. He said the containers could have been brought from anywhere by the Police, to have them tendered.
In response to the objection to the defence Counsel, sub-Inspector Jarju relied on Section 3(1) of the Evidence Act and said a proper foundation has been laid by the prosecution as the witness clearly gave the number and colour of containers received, and urged the Court to admit them as exhibits. He also urged the Court to disregard Counsel’s submission that the containers could have been brought from anywhere as a figment of defence Counsel’s own imagination which was not based on law and fact.
However, the Magistrate allowed proceedings to continue and adjourned the case to 11th May 2022.