DLEA Officer Inconsistently Testifies In Court
Momodou Jallow, a narcotic officer, recently testified inconsistently before Magistrate Don of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court under cross-examination by Lawyer Edward Gomez.
In his evidence-in-chief, he told the court that one Samsideen Jatta along with a lady were escorted from Sibanor by some narcotic officers to their office in Banjul. But prior to that, he said he is attached to the Police Forensic Unit of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA).
He further testified that those who escorted Samsideen Jatta and the lady told them that cannabis sativa was found with Samsideen and the lady, while cannabis rassin was found with Samsideen.
He disclosed that he explained to Samsideen that they extracted the two substances, and marked them with reference numbers, namely, DLEA 251/2018 and DLEA 252/2018, noting that the samples were then sent to for analysis. He stated that the cannabis sativa was marked DLEA 251/2018 and that of the cannabis rassin was marked DLEA 252/2018.
He adduced that the analytical report was sent to their office after the samples were analysed. At this juncture, the prosecutor asked him whether he would be able to identify the said report, and he answered in the positive. He was again asked how he was going to identify the report and he said that through their reference numbers.
The prosecutor then gave him the report to peruse, and he went through it. He confirmed the report. The prosecutor applied to tender it. It was then shown to Lawyer Edward Gomez who said that he was not objecting to the tendering of the report. The said report was subsequently admitted by the court.
Under cross-examination, Lawyer Gomez asked him:
“Do you speak Jola?
“Yes, a little bit.”
“You don’t speak enough Jola to be able to explain to the accused?” Yes.”
“What language did you use to communicate to the accused?” “Jola.”
“Now you are telling the court that you spoke Jola to the accused?”
“In my testimony, I said that we explained to the accused. What I mean is that I did not directly speak to the accused. Some of my colleagues spoke to the accused in Jola.” “Again you are telling the court that you did not speak Jola to the accused?” “Yes.”
“How did you send the sample? Did you hold it in your hands?”
“I put it in a way book. I wrapped it in a paper and put it in a brown envelop and sent it. The way book was already signed when it was sent back to me.”
“I am putting it to you that your testimony lacks credibility. It is dangerous and the court cannot rely on it.” Lawyer Gomez put it to him
“My testimony is consistent.”
The case was adjourned to 9th November, 2018, for continuation.