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City of Banjul
Sunday, March 7, 2021

SMJ trial finally resumes in open court

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Mr Jaw is being tried by state prosecutors on charges of conspiracy, failure to register a business and disobedience to statutory duty, charges he denied.

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He was earlier charged along with Seth Yaw Kandeh, a Ghanaian and Olufemi Erinle Titus, a Nigerian who had both pleaded guilty to all counts and were sentenced to a fine by the court. But Mr Jaw maintained his innocence.

Testifying before Magistrate Samsideen Conteh of Banjul Magistrates Court yesterday, the witness identified himself as Amadou John, the national coordinator for West African Bird Study Association and the vice chairman of the youth committee in Banjul.

He said: “I recognise the accused person in the dock and I can remember what transpired between me and the accused in October 2014. I remember I received a telephone call from Mr Jaw asking me to identify five participants, including myself to participate in a five-day data base training which I did and I communicated to others in Banjul. We attended the training for five days on data base collection at TANGO and we were welcome by the trainers, including Mr Jaw and two others, who were Ghanaian and Nigerian nationals, respectively. They gave us the clues about the training before we were sent to various houses to conduct the survey based on the manual and questionnaires given to us during the training.”

According to the witness, during the training the participants asked the trainers about the duration of the programme, time frame, terms of payments and the legality of the programme that is whether the trainers had any clearance before conducting the survey, but no  positive response was given to them by the trainers.

The witness testified that he personally called Mr Jaw so as to clear the doubts regarding the questions raised by the participants, but Mr Jaw promised him that the issues raised by the participants would be addressed by the trainers.

He added: “We were paid for the training and the transport fare was based on the location of each participant. We were also trained on how to sketch a map plan before questionnaires were given to us. But before the end of the training, some participants decided to backtrack due to some irregularities on the questionnaires, but later the trainers said they would change the questionnaires. Test was also given to the participants, but the trainers were not much impressed with the outcome of the test, but the participants also told the trainers that they would not carry out the survey without a clearance.”

The case resumes in court today.


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