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City of Banjul
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Officer testifies in taxi driver trial

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Lance Corporal Abdoulie Badjie of State Guard and a member of the Joint Security Task Force told the magistrates court in Kanifing that their target was to force the car to stop by shooting at the tyre, not to shoot anybody.

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He adduced: “We were patrolling Manjai area in the Kanifing municipality with my colleagues, Baba Leigh, a police officer and Lang Jarju. We established a check-point there to inspect any vehicle for dangerous weapons and evil things. During that period, this man came. We asked him to stop, but he refused to stop. We shouted at him. He ran away. Then, we fired a warning shot in the air. Still, he did not stop. That was the time we chased him. We overtook him on the left side; there was a junction on the right side where he entered. That was the time we shot to disable the car and the road also is not good. As a military officer, you can shoot at the tyre to make the vehicle stop. Our target was to make sure we catch and stop the vehicle. The time he turned to that road, there was a flower tree there. The vehicle hit it and stopped. When the driver failed to stop, we became suspicious. The time we met them, we found two men and one woman, but I did not know them. When we met them, the driver came out and the boy also came out from the car. We found the girl bleeding inside the car. We reported the matter to Manjai Police Station and police officers came and we went with them to Kairaba Police Station. Then, we gave them our statement and continued our patrol.”

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Edu Gomez, Lance Corporal Badjie said he could not remember the number of shots they have fired. “How many of you fired at the car?”

He replied: “We all fired.” He affirmed that they did inspect the vehicle when it stopped. “When we arrived, we saw the driver coming out of the vehicle. We looked inside the vehicle and we saw the woman was bleeding. She was lying in the vehicle.”

Lawyer Gomez quizzed: “Where you there when they were removing the woman from the car? 

He replied: “Yes.”

Gomez pressed: “I am putting it to you that Sulayman Bah [the boyfriend of Ya Binta] appealed to you to assist him to take the woman to the hospital, but you people refused to help him?

Badjie maintained: “I did not hear that.”

The case resumes April 1. 

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