Facing a two-count charge, the erstwhile magistrate is alleged to have ‘corruptly solicited’ D20,000 and a gold wristwatch from the said witness.
Testifying before Magistrate Hilary Abeke was Ms Fangawa herself, a Sierra Leonean businesswoman based in The Gambia. She confirmed that she had a civil case in March before the accused, Saikou Fatty, who presided over her case.
She narrated: “I was called by the accused in his office. He told me that I am a businesswoman, so I would not have time to come to court everyday. He told me that he want to settle my matter out of court and he further told me he had spoken to [Chimezia ] Julius and he accepted it because they are friends and that it was left to me to decide. I told the accused I would think about it. I went back to his office and he said I should go and collect from the accountant the D8000 I had already paid. I collected the said money from the Accounts Office and a receipt was issued to me.
“I came back to his office and he took the D8000 from me and told me to bring extra D10,000; that after, he would talk to Julius for the case to be settled out of court. He later told me that the case was settled. Then, he asked what I would give him since the case was settled out of court. I told him that I did not have money now. But he called me later, between 4 and 5pm, and told me that he was around ‘Cow Junction’ and I should go and meet him there. When we met, I gave him D20,000 and a gold wrist watch. He promised me that the case would be settled out of court. Later, I received a telephone call from Bundung Magistrates Court and was told that I have a case there. I told the court that my case was settled. I continued to attend my case while the accused was transferred to Brikama-Ba. A judgment was later delivered in my favour. When I called the accused to refund my money, he threatened to arrest me. I informed my country’s embassy in The Gambia and was advised to write to the Chief Justice.”
Hearing continues January 15.]]>