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Monday, March 1, 2021

Protocol officer testifies in diplomatic passport scam trial

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By Bruce Asemota

One Momodou Sowe, a protocol officer at the Office of the President, yesterday testified before Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh of the High Court in the diplomatic passport scam case involving the state against Mansa Sumareh and Ebrima J.S. Sanneh.

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Mr Sowe testified that he had good working relationship with Mansa Sumareh until when he started asking him to help him secure a diplomatic passport.

The witness told the court that he had always advised Mansa of his limitations but the former State House driver never heeded his advice.

He went on to narrate that one particular day, he went with Mansa to one Bakary K. Susso’s residence at Yarambaba Estate where the two them (Mansa and Susso) spent about 15 minutes talking. He said when he came out, Mansa introduced him to Mr Susso whom he described as a generous person.

The witness disclosed that after a handshake with Mr Susso, he moved to the passenger’s seat of the car and the two of them went towards the compound gate.

He revealed that he heard Mansa talking and even though he was not very audible, he mentioned US$500.

Mr Sowe said when Mansa rejoined the car, they drove away and whilst they were going, Mansa gave him US$300 but he didn’t understand why he gave him that money.

The witness disclosed that the following day he didn’t go to work because he had toothache but Mansa called him to say that he was heading to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was with Susso.

The witness further disclosed that he called his colleague at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and told him about the game he is playing.

The witness revealed that his colleague warned him that he should be wary of Mansa Sumareh and that if they come to the office, he was not ready to talk to them but would send them away without a word.

Mr Momodou Sowe told the court that few days later, Mansa Sumareh called him and asked him to return the money he gave him and he replied that he could pick the money anytime he desired.

Hearing continues on 8 February, 2021.

Mansa Sumareh, a former chief driver at State House and Ebrima J.S. Sanneh, a protocol officer, are standing trial on multiple charges of forgery of document in an attempt to secure diplomatic passport for one Bakary K. Susso which they denied.

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