By Gambian Correspondent – Lady Njaimeh Jawara, wife of the former President, on 31 March 2011 testified before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court against Lamin Drammeh, Lamin Tamba, Almamy Jagne, Bakary Njie, all golf caddis, and Bakary B. Baldeh, a West Coast Radio staff. The accused persons were charged with conspiracy, incitement of violence and prohibition of conduct conducive to the breaches of the peace.
In her testimony, she told the court that she lives at No. 40 Atlantic Boulevard Fajara. She stated that she is a housewife, and recognized the first accused, third accused and the fourth accused persons at the Golf Course.
She added that all the accused persons are caddies, adding that a cadis is someone who carries the bag of a golfer.
The witness further testified that on 11th and 14th February 2011, or 12 February 2011, her son called Ebrima Jawara phoned her and said President Yahya Jammeh has donated $40,000 to organize a golf competition in honour of his daughter, and asked her if she could attend. She said that she agreed to attend.
She testified that she arrived on 11 February 2011, adding that before they played the competition, there was a practice for players on Saturday and Sunday.
She added that they arranged to practice at the Golf Course on the 12 February 2011, at around 2 p.m. but they changed the time to 4 p.m.
She stated that when she came to the Golf Course, her son had no caddy, and was told he would explain to her.
She further told the court that her son, Ebrima, hired a young girl to caddy for him, adding that her own official caddy turned up, and caddied for her.
She stated that she asked him to get a brown sweeper, but they could not get one, and all the caddies were sitting down.
“I asked for the Caddy Master, Mr Njie, but he did not come, and I did not know why he failed to turn up,” she told the court.
Further testifying, she narrated that at the end of the game, her son explained to her that the cadis were on a strike, and went to the West Coast Radio and insulted her son, Ebrima. She said that, on 12 February 2011, she was molested and insulted by the first accused, after the end of the game.
“My son then explained to me, and I was trying to bring peace between him and the caddis,” she further testified. She added that she was approaching a mosque and the first accused, Ebrima’s Caddy, went to her house and requested for a praying mat, and she gave him two big rugs which she bought from Saudi Arabia.
“Since I was trying to make peace, they were angry, and I demanded for the praying mats.” At this juncture, lawyer Pap Cheyasin Secka, who was representing the third and fourth accused persons, announced the appearance of lawyer Kebba Sanyang, who represented the first and second accused persons.
Pap Cheyasin Secka had earlier told the court that he was holding brief for lawyer Lamin Camara who is the counsel for the fifth accused.
Lady Njaimeh went to say that Lamin Drammeh was saying abusive words when he approached her, and said: “You can take your mat, because you and your son are not Muslims. Your son drinks and does not pray.”
She added that she told Lamin Drammeh that he considered himself the imam of the mosque, and he was saying abusive words which should not be uttered by an imam.
“On the day of the professional competition, and as the professionals were playing, Lamin Drammeh was arrested by the NIA while he was sitting with Fatoumata Jahumpa,” she narrated.
She went to say that the accused persons came out with Lamin from the field, and told the caddies to disperse and that Ebrima is not God, adding that all the caddies threw their bags and came out of the field.
According to the particulars of offence on count one, the accused persons on 11 February 2011 at Fajara and diverse places, jointly among others, conspired to commit a felony to wit incitement to violence.
The particulars on count two stated that the accused persons on 11 February 2011, at the same place and diverse places jointly and unlawfully without lawful excuse, made statements through West Coast Radio implying the boycotting of the Baby Mariama Yayha Jammeh Golf Competition organized by the Gambia Golf Association, desirable to do so, and calculated to lead to the destruction or damage to the same association or competition.
On count three, Lamin Drammeh, Lamin Tamba and Bakary Njie, on 12 February 2011, at the same place jointly and unlawfully, while at the same place, uttered abusive terms on the person of Lady Njaimeh Jawara in a manner likely to occasion a breach.
Lawyer Pap Cheyasin Secka had earlier applied for count two to be struck out because, he said, it is not known to law. His application was granted and count two was struck out accordingly.
Hearing resumes at later date.