Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Yankuba Touray Says No Council Meeting Was Held the Day Koro Ceesay Died

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Yankuba Touray, erstwhile member of the defunct AFPRC, has informed the Banjul High Court that they did not hold any meeting on the Friday that Koro Ceesay died.

Touray, who started his testimony after Justice Jaiteh’s ruling that he can do so, testified that Council meetings were only held on Tuesdays, contrary to the testimonies of Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour, his former orderlies and driver respectively.

Touray continued that during the morning of that fateful Friday (when Koro Ceesay died), he was with Ensa Mendy; But that in the afternoon, Mendy left to stay away for weekends. Below is the rest of Touray’s testimony, during his evidence in his chief when he was questioned by Lawyer Abdoulie Sisoho.

When asked what the duties of an Orderly to a Commissioned Officer were by Lawyer Abdoulie Sisoho, Yankuba Touray, who is also Defence Witness No. 3 in his own case replied thus:

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“An orderly attends to a Commissioned Officer during official working hours.”

Q: “Ensa Mendy, who is prosecution witness two, informed this Court that he was your bodyguard. Is that correct Sir?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” Touray answered

Q: “In a regimental army like the Gambia Armed Forces, do Commissioned Officers have bodyguards?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” Touray answered.

Q: “As a member of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, did you have a bodyguard?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.

A: “Members of the AFPRC Council did not have bodyguards except for the Chairman and the Vice Chairman who both had bodyguards, protocol officers and principal protection officers in addition to the ADC (Aide de Camp),” Touray replied.

Touray further testified that Ensa Mendy was not the only orderly he had; adding one Jali Musa Sowe was also his orderly. He said Ensa Mendy and Jali Musa Sowe used to work in shifts of two days each.

Q: “Can you tell the Court how Lamin Ndour, who was your driver, used to carry out his duties while serving you?” Sisoho asked.

A: “He drives me daily during working hours and when we close from work, he leaves for home,” Touray answered.

Q: “On that Friday while at State House, did you send Lamin Ndour and Ensa Mendy to your house?” asked Lawyer Sisoho.

A: “No,” Touray responded.

Moving forward, Touray further said he prayed that Friday’s congregational prayers in Banjul and went home to Kerr Sering; adding upon arrival at his house, he gave both Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour fares to go for their weekends after which, he took lunch and had a nap. He said in the evening, he received a call from the former Chairman of the AFPRC former Lieutenant Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, to reschedule their earlier meeting which could not take place in the afternoon. He said the ex-military leader invited him to a meeting at the State House.

“I took the July 22nd file containing the minutes of meeting regarding the mobilisation and sensitisation program. I drove to the State House,” Touray said.

Q: “Where was Ensa Mendy?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.

A: “Ensa Mendy had left already because I needed not to tell him. It was a routine between the orderlies to shift duties. Jali Musa Sowe alias J.M. Sowe automatically had to come on that Friday and he did,” Touray told the Court. He added upon arrival at the State House, he was received by Lieutenant Bajinka, who was then ADC to Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, then Chairman of the AFPRC. He further informed the Court that he was ushered into the living room of the then Chairman, where they held the meeting.

“There was no Council meeting as opposed to what Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour informed this Court. The meeting was between me and Lieutenant Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh,” Touray further said.

Q: “Was the Minister of Finance in that meeting?” Lawyer Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” Touray replied.

Q: “Was Edward Singhatey at that meeting?” Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” the witness replied.

Q: “Was Ebou Jallow at that meeting?” the Lawyer asked.

A: “No,” Touray said.

Q: “Where was Ebou Jallow?” Sisoho asked.

A: “He was out of the country,” Touray answered.

Q: “Was Kaba Bajo at that meeting?” Sisoho inquired.

A: “No,” Touray answered.

Q: “Do you know why Captain Kaba Bajo was not there?” Sisoho asked.

A: “He (Bajo) was part of the delegation of the Chairman to Addis Ababa for the OAU summit,” Touray answered.

Q: “On that day, was there a Council meeting?” the Senior Lawyer asked.

A: “No, Council meetings were only held on Tuesdays,” Touray answered.

Q: “Prosecution witness two and four, Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour respectively while under oath, told this Court that they drove you to the State House for a Council meeting of the AFPRC,” Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” Touray said.

Q: “Both Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour while under oath told this Court that they saw you and other Council members going upstairs to the Chairman’s office for a Council meeting,” Sisoho told Touray.

A: “No,” the accused replied.

Q: “Both Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour while under oath, said after the alleged meeting, you came down and instructed them to go home,” Sisoho told Touray.

A: “No,” Touray answered.

Q: “Was Ensa Mendy and Lamin Ndour at the State House with you on the day the Chairman was leaving for Ethiopia?” Sisoho asked.

A: “No,” Touray answered.

Q: “Did you discuss with the Chairman on the agenda of the meeting?” the Lawyer asked.

A: “The primary objective of the meeting was discussed which was the sensitisation and mobilisation program initiated by the July 22nd Movement. We had discussed the summary of the meeting of the July 22nd Movement and the recommendations therein which was approved by the Chairman of the AFPRC,” Touray replied. He said after the meeting, he obtained permission to leave but the then Chairman Jammeh asked him to wait and have some snacks together with him; adding after eating, the Chairman told him to wait and join him to the airport.

At this juncture, the matter was adjourned to the 27th of August 2020 between 2 pm to 3 pm, for the continuation of Touray’s testimony.

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