Victim Testifies in Gambia College Sex Scandal Case

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By Louise Jobe

The victim in the Gambia College sex scandal case on Thursday continued her testimony before Principal Magistrate Anna O. Mendy at Brikama Magistrates’ Court.

The Court has revoked the bail of the accused person after he failed to appear in court in the past two hearings. He is now remanded at Mile 2.

Assistant Superintendent Buteh Sawaneh represented the Inspector General of Police while Senior Lawyer Lamin K. Mboge, Counsel for the accused person, was absent.

She recounted how the accused person treated her. She told the Court that Alasana Janneh continued to press her private part and buttocks while she pushed the accused person by his neck.

“Mr Janneh grabbed my neck with both hands until I struggled to breath. I started screaming, and he further pressed my neck to an extent that I could not scream anymore. He pushed and beat me for screaming for help, and I fell on a chair. He continued beating me randomly on every part of my body he felt like,” the victim explained.

“He strangled me while sitting on my back and continued beating me. I told him I couldn’t breath, don’t kill me, and he responded that he was going to kill me, I also replied to him that it’s only Allah that kills, not you,” she narrated.

“Mr Janneh told me even if I screamed; no one will hear my voice. So, I told him, ‘Is that your reason of keeping me here until this night?‘ I requested water from him to drink because I was thirsty, but he refused to provide water for me to drink,” she said.

“He (the accused person) told me to undress myself. I responded to him, ‘How can I undress myself while you are holding my hands backwards and sitting on me? I will never remove my clothes.‘ He insisted that I must undress.”

“Did you subsequently remove your clothes?” the police prosecutor asked.

“No, I did not remove them,” she replied.

The witness said the accused person later released her hands and directed that she should remove her clothes. She added that the accused person told her to give him some items from the table in his office, which she has no idea what those items are.

“That’s how I rushed towards the door, pushed and opened, and ran outside. He pursued me but couldn’t get me. I left all my materials in his office – my bag, phone, veil, and shoes. He (accused) told me to come back for them, but I refused. I met the security on duty outside who noticed stain of blood on my nose and neck. He asked what the problem was and I explained to him that Mr Janneh attempted to rape me,” she stated.

She further explained that the said security escorted her back to the office to find out, because it was a serious issue.

“When we were going towards the office, already Mr Janneh placed my items outside his office and was walking away trying to flee the scene. The security called him back, and asked him what transpired, but his response to the security was unpleasant. Mr Janneh had some bitter exchange of words with the security, but the security told him that he was not fighting with him. Instead, he is going to forward the matter to the right authorities for action,” she said.

The victim told the court that Mr Janneh attempted to hit her with a chair, but the security stopped him, and she was later escorted to the school gate by the security.

She said she asked the security to either call the school authorities or the police to the scene. Otherwise, she wouldn’t go home. The school authorities were later called and they came to the school.

She said one Mr. Cham, senior staff of the college, came and asked her what transpired and she explained the matter to him.

“The accused person was saying Madam Ndow (Vice Principal of the College) is his aunt, and he will do what he feels like. He was pulling his tongue and provoking me and further calling me ‘nonsense girl’. Mr Cham later took me to his house to spend the night, he said it was too late for me to go back home alone at that time,” she said.

The victim said she took the picture of her injuries before going to bed using her iPhone. She responded to the prosecutor that she sought treatment at the Brikama District Hospital on the following day. She added that it was because she could not eat or drink at that time, and she, in fact, slept hungry on the night of the alleged incident.

“The doctor I found on duty directed me to bring a police report before anything can be done. I went to the Brikama Police Station and got escorted to Brikama District Hospital by a female police officer, but I could not get medication. I later went to Kanifing General Hospital, which also requested for police report. I went to Kanifing police station, and Brikama police station was contacted thereon. I was given police report, and I was given medication at Kanifing General Hospital. Still, I couldn’t eat comfortably, and I later went to Aqua Lab for scanning,” she said.

She recalled receiving medical documents from the hospital and also sent photos of her injuries to one police officer named Sabally.

Prosecutor Sawaneh further asked whether the witness will be able to recognise the medical paper issued to her and the photos. She responded in the positive. She was shown the document and photos, which she confirmed.

The prosecution applied to tender the medical certificate signed by Dr. Seedy Jawo and photos into evidence.

The accused person objected to the admission of the document and photos, saying he is only seeing the neck of the person, not the face. He added that it can be anyone’s face.

However, the objection of the accused was overruled by the court stating that the documents will be pivotal to the hearing and determination of the case. The documents were admitted and marked as exhibits.

In his cross examination of the witness, Mr Janneh asked whether the victim feared Allah in her narration. The victim replied that she feared Allah.

He further put to the victim that her narration differed from what transpired. The witness replied that she only narrated what exactly happened. She testified that while explaining the matter to the school authorities, Mr Janneh asked for forgiveness.

The matter was adjourned to Monday, 22nd of April 2024.