Soldier Testifies in Police Shooting Case

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By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)

Ismaila Bojang, a member of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) on Tuesday, (24 October) testified in a murder involving a man accused of shooting two police officers to death, and another sustaining serious injuries .

One Ousainou Bojang is charged with the murder of those policemen. The incident happened on 12 September 2023 at the Sukuta-Jabang Traffic Lights where two policemen were shot and killed by an assailant. Another policewoman was allegedly shot leaving her in a critical condition, but was rushed to hospital.

Ismaila Bojang, a soldier working for the GAF financial department attached to the GAF Training School,  is the first prosecution witness in the case. He informed the court that he lives at the Yundum Barracks. He testified that he and two other soldiers were selected for a training course to be held in Türkiye. He said he and his two colleagues were preparing for that trip. IsmailaBojang said they were on their way from the beach on the day of the incident. Hesaid his colleagues were Omar S. Darboe and Bakary S. Jarju. He said they stopped at the Sukuta-Jabang Traffic Lights to buy meat also known as ‘Afra’.

Ismaila said Omar was the one who went to buy the ‘Afra’ while he and Bakary waited on the other side of the road. He said they sat behind the police who were on duty. He added that there were three police personnel on duty at the time – one woman and two men.

Ismaila said while sitting, he heard a gunshot and he saw one policeman lying on the ground. He added that another policeman wanted to fight the shooter, but the gunman shot him on the chest.

He testified further that the policewoman rushed to help them, but she was also shot by the same gunman.

The witness testified that he rushed towards the shooter, who began running and this was when they began shouting

“thief, thief”.  The witness added that the shooter headed towards Sukuta, but he and his friends followed him. He said the gunman used to turn back to them while pointing the gun at them. He informed the court that he pursued the gunman until he jumped over a fence and this was when he and his friends turned back because it was not safe since they were not armed.

He explained that they decided to go back to the scene to secure the place, but on their arrival, they found a huge crowd. Ismaila said they were able to collect two gun cartridges.

The State Counsel asked the witness how he knew that it was a gun cartridge. He replied that an empty gun consists of iron with propellant powder and an empty gasket.

When asked to describe the shooter’s physical appearance, Ismaila described the gunman as taller than him. He said the shooter has bowlegs and he wore a yellowish shirt, and a three-quarter short. The witness noted that the gun in the shooter’s hand was a pistol.

“Yes, it is a pistol and the gun was in the hand of the shooter as I was chasing him,” the witness said.

During cross-examination, Lawyer Lamin J. Darboe questioned the witness about the number of gun cartridges found at the scene and whether the witness had them with him. Ismaila replied that there were two gun cartridges and he had handed them over to the police who arrived at the scene.

The first charge against Ousainou includes murder. The prosecution alleged that on or about the 12 September 2023, in Sukuta,  Ousainou Bojang with malice caused the death of Police Constable Sang J Gomez by shooting him with a gun.

Count two is also a murder charge. It is alleged that on the same day, Ousainou Bojang caused the death of Police Constable Pateh Jallow by shooting him with a gun.

Count three is Prohibition of Acts of Terrorism. Ousainou Bojang is charged with committing acts of terrorism under section 3(1)(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The prosecution alleged that he attacked Police Constable Pateh Jallow and Police Constable Sang J Gomez on 12 September 2023, shooting them with a gun and resulting in their death.

Count Four is attempted murder. Ousainou Bojang is accused of attempting to murder Police Constable Ansey Jawo contrary to section 200 of the Criminal Code. It is alleged that on 12 September 2023, in Sukuta, Ousainou Bojang unlawfully tried to cause the death of Constable Nancy Jawo by shooting her with a firearm.

Count Five still concerns Ousainou Bojang. He was charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm contrary to Section 214 of the Criminal Code. The prosecution alleged that on 12 September 2023, in Sukuta, Ousainou Bojang unlawfully shot Police Constable Nancy Jawo with a firearm, inflicting severe bodily harm upon her.

Count six concerns Amie Bojang, the sister. She is charged with accessory after the fact to Murder. The prosecution alleged that Amie Bojang assisted Ousainou Bojang in evading the jurisdiction by aiding his escape from the country despite being aware of his involvement in a murder.

The case was adjourned to 30 October and some other multiple days in November and December. The case will come on 6, 13, and 21 November and 4, 11, 12, 14, and 18 December.

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