By Nelson Manneh
Superintendent Pa Habibou Mbye has on Tuesday began giving evidence before Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of the Banjul High Court in the ongoing murder trial of Yankuba Touray, an ex-Minister of Lands and Local Government.
Touray is facing a single count of the murder of Ousman Koro Ceesay, a former Minister of Finance under the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC).
Superintendent Jaiteh said he joined the Gambia Police Force in 1967, and was dismissed by the APRC government in 1995 and reinstated in 1997.
The witness told the court that he was at the airport together with Koro Ceesay on the day ex-AFPRC chairman Yahya A.J.J Jammeh was travelling to Ethiopia.
He told the court that the way Mr. Touray and Edward Singhatey, the former vice-chairman of the redundant AFPRC government parked their vehicles made it impossible for Koro Ceesay to leave without them.
“When the President departed and Koro Ceesay wanted to leave but he could not because of the way Yankuba Touray and Edward Singhstey parked their vehicles,” the witness said.
The witness said when Touray and Singhatey came, Touray joined Koro Ceesay’s vehicle while Singhatey used his own vehicle.
“This is how they left the airport,” he said.
The witness said when he heard the demise of Koro Ceesay, he visited the purported accident scene to see what was happening.
“Thereafter I heard the information; I decided to proceed to the alleged accident seen. Upon arrival, I observed that Koro Ceesay’s vehicle was burnt, it was almost burnt to ashes. I also observed that the number plate was detached from the vehicle. I went around the vehicle and I observed that the vehicle was attached to the slab of the bridge,” he said.
PW5 said he witnessed the post-mortem of the remains of the deceased at the mortuary. He said Peter Singhatey was present at the mortuary.
“Peter’s hand was bandaged,” the witness said.
The witness said after the post-mortem examination, he returned to his office.
The witness said two days later, the then Inspector-General of Police called him to his office and told him that he was wanted by Mr. Touray (the accused person).
“I did not talk to anybody at the mortuary, but I said loudly that what led to the death of Koro Ceesay was a foul play. I said this to see the reactions of Peter Singhatey,” he said.
PW 5 said when he said so he observed that Peter frown his face and that was the time he left and went back to his office.
He said some weeks later, the then IGP called him to his house and told him that he got instructions from the State House that his services were not needed in the Police and he should go home.
“My question to the IGP after receiving the information was whether he was told what I do, but the IGP responded that he did not receive any information,” he said.
The witness said few weeks later, he was served his dismissal letter at home which indicated that he was dismissed from the Gambia Police Force and the order was an executive order.
At this juncture, the matter was then adjourned to today the 5th of February 2020 at 2 pm for the continuation of hearing.