By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)
Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe representing Ousainou Bojang, an alleged police killer, on Monday, 6 November 2023 continued with his cross-examination of a soldier who testified that he witnessed the shooting incident that claimed the lives of two (2) policemen.
The solider, Bakary R. Jarju is the second prosecution witness (PW2). Ousainou allegedly killed two (2) policemen and injured one policewoman with the use of a gun along the Sukuta-Jabang Traffics Light. He is charged with two counts of murder, attempted murder, terrorist act and assault causing grievous bodily harm. Ousainou’s sister, Amie Bojang, is also charged with Accessory After the Fact of Murder. Both Ousainou and the sister denied liability.
The police statement of the witness was tendered and admitted into the records of the court. Bakary R. Jarju said he was at the Sukuta-Jabang Traffic Light at the time of the incident and he witnessed the shooting incident. Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe’s questions were centred around what the witness stated during his examination in-chief and he repeated most of what he stated.
The lawyer referred the witness to his previous statement, where he mentioned that he believed that the first gunshot was a negligent discharge. The lawyer then asked whether the witness believed that the second shot was also a negligent discharge. The witness responded affirmatively. The witness confirmed that the shooter fired the third shot at the female officer after shooting the two male officers.
Lawyer Darboe questioned the witness about the shooter’s actions before leaving the scene. The witness stated that the shooter after shooting the policemen and the policewoman released a shot at the roundabout. When asked how he (the witness) knew it was the shooter who fired the shots, the witness explained that he was observing the shooter’s movements.
The witness explained that he was under pressure which made it difficult to remember the exact number of shots, but he estimated it to be six. He detailed that the first shot hit the policeman having an AK47, followed by the second shot at the second policeman, the third shot was directed at the policewoman, the fourth shot was released at the roundabout, the fifth shot was when the shooter entered the junction and turned, and another shot after some distance.
Lawyer Darboe questioned the witness about the number of bullets a pistol can carry, but the witness stated that it varies depending on the type of pistol.
The case will be coming on 13 November 2023 for the continuation of cross-examination.
The Public Enterprise Committee of the National Assembly (PEC) with support from the International Republican Institute (IRI) has embarked on a social audit exercise on NAWEC water supply.
The Committee will also hold a Public Hearing on the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) on the Reliability, Cost Effectiveness/Affordability, Quality, and Accessibility of Water Supply in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA).
This is in line with their mandate as enshrined in the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia to perform oversight on public enterprises including NAWEC.
Visiting the Foroyaa Publishing Company, on the 6th of November, 2023, the Chairperson of the Committee, Lamin J Sanneh, and the team were received by the Foroyaa Head of Admin and Finance and Editor, Messrs Ebrima Njie and Mamadou Dem respectively.
According to the Chairperson, the purpose of the visit was for the Committee to know whether the widely read Newspaper received complaints within the Greater Banjul Area about water problems and how it’s reported.
Responding to the Chairperson, Mr Dem intimated that as a Media organization, they report news and therefore when such complaints are received, a reporter will be assigned to gather information on the subject matter either by way of an interview or listening to direct narratives from victims and how it is affecting them.
Upon gathering all facts, he added, the NAWEC Spokesperson will be contacted for verification and also give further details about the problem/problems of water shortages in a particular area.
Further dwelling on the social audit exercise, Honourable Sanneh said the essence of the exercise was necessitated by an engagement they had with the International Republican Institute (IRI) on the quality of water supply and the availability of water and its consistency in terms of production of water within the GBA.
According to him, they were privileged to receive certain information when a performance audit was conducted on NAWEC about the production of urban, peri-urban, and industrial growth areas of the country.
He added that when the information was out, they laid a tour of the whole country to look at the quality, availability, consistency, and affordability of water.
“So, this is the reason why we came to Foroyaa as a major stakeholder to know whether they received complaints with regard to NAWEC coverage or whether there are communities that reported to them that they are within the GBA and don’t have access to NAWEC water. And if they have access, whether there is consistency in availability of water and whether they received complaints relating to the cost of water, especially with the new tariff so these are some of the issues we came here to enquire about,” Sanneh said.
He said after the inquiries, they will map out recommendations to all the stakeholders, adding that they will also generate a Report which will entail their recommendation to the government and NAWEC as a Public Enterprise Institution to look at them.
“So, the other aspects of their core mandate are to take care of the recruitment in terms of staffing because these things are established by an Act of Parliament under the structural adjustment policy. The Central Government cannot recruit everything but as a Parastatal, they can also recruit people as mandated by law,” he expounded.
The Head of Admin and Finance of Foroyaa Publishing Company informed PEC officials of the National Assembly that he sees frustration borne out of water shortage in communities, especially within the Greater Banjul Area.
He said many communities facing water problems have approached (or complained to) Foroyaa about the challenges they are faced with in terms of the availability and consistency in the supply of water.
“And as a community development worker, I go around the communities and listen to their opinions and some of them are still complaining that they don’t have access to water. These are challenges people are facing in the GBA,” Njie stated