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Friday, March 5, 2021

Protocol officer testifies in diplomatic passport case

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By Bruce Asemota

Ebou Sillah, the acting director of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yesterday testified as a prosecution witness in the diplomatic passport scam case at the High Court in Banjul.

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Mansa Sumareh and Ebrima JS Sanneh both from foreign ministry, are standing trial on eight counts charge including forgery, conspiracy to commit felony, uttering false documents, making documents without authority, procuring execution of documents.
The prosecution alleged that Mansa Sumareh and Ebrima JSSanneh sometime in 2019 conspired amongst themselves by false and fraudulent representation, procured Mr Abdoulie Bah (permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time) to sign a forged letter of approval from the office of the President for the issuance of a diplomatic In his testimony, Mr Sillah explained how diplomatic passports are obtained and noted that all requests for diplomatic passports are sent to the office of the President for clearance.
He narrated his encounter with Mansa Sumareh (1st accused person) and one Bakary Susso who had applied for diplomatic passport.

He revealed that Bakary Susso was accompanied by Mansa Sumareh to his office but he wasn’t comfortable with him and he called his colleague at Office of the President (Modou Sowe) whether the diplomatic passport form was actually approved by the president but Modou Sowe could not explain clearly.

Mr Sillah told the court that he then informed Bakary Susso that he would not process his application, hence he asked both Mansa Sumareh and Bakary Susso to go away.
Responding to questions posed to him by defence counsel S. Gaye during cross examination, Sillah said the president has discretion to give diplomatic passport to whomsoever he wishes.
Hearing continues.

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