By Amadou Jadama
The trial of nominated National Member Ya-Kumba Jaiteh, who is charged with assault and obstruction, yesterday proceeded at the Kanifing court before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie with the testimony of the first prosecution witness.
Ya-Kumba Jaiteh is standing trial on two counts bordering on assault and obstruction, while her father Yusupha Jaiteh is charged with one count of obstruction.
Testifying as the first prosecution witness (PW1), Ebrima Fadera, a narcotics officer attached to Serekunda Police Station, said he recognised the accused persons in the dock and recalled an incident involving them on 6 October 2020.
“I was stationed at Serekunda police on that Tuesday and at around 18:35, I left the charge office with my colleagues Baba Njie, Abdoulie A. Jarju, Landing Tamba, Sisawo Nyabally and Lamin Manjang, all drug squad officers. We went on our normal patrol and conducted a search at Queens Bar when we saw a man sitting on a motorbike. We approached him and identified ourselves as narcotics officers after which he attempted to run. We held him and, in the process, a parcel of suspected cannabis fell from his pocket after which I arrested him with a hand cuff,” Fadera told the court.
He revealed that after searching the man, he recovered another suspected parcel of cannabis from his pocket. “At this point, the accused shouted for help and then a group of people came to help him and among them, I came to recognise Ya-Kumba Jaiteh as a member of the National Assembly, and an old man who later became known to me as her father, who was pushing and pulling with us saying the accused will not be arrested,” Fadera told the court.
He said even after they identified themselves as narcotics officers, they told them they would not arrest their son. “Ya-Kumba Jaiteh held my neck resulting in injuries at the back of my left ear. I was then with Abdoulie Jarju, while other officers were searching other areas. At this point, I had shouted for help and my colleagues arrived with a vehicle and helped me get the suspect, Tijan Macaulley on board, while the old man was beating the officers and calling them to leave his son.
When we boarded the suspect in the vehicle, Ya-Kumba Jaiteh was equally dragging the suspect from our vehicle. I could not recognise the others but I recognised Ya-Kumba and the old man,” the witness told the court.
He added that they went to Serekunda station where he was escorted to Kanifing General Hospital for treatment for the injuries he sustained from the scene. “I was later discharged and issued with a prescription form and some medicines,” he said, producing the prescription form which was tendered into evidence.
He said he went back to the hospital on 20 October. “I was issued with a medical certificate and a receipt of D500.”
Cross-examined by Lamin S Camara on how long he has been a narcotics officer, the witness replied three years. The trial continues.