Friday, December 8

Alleged PIU shooter Ousainou Bojang & co plead not guilty to all counts

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The first accused person, Ousainou Bojang, was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempt to murder, one count of Prohibition of Acts of Terrorism, and one count of grievous bodily harm. The second accused was charged with accessory after the fact.

The indictment was read and explained in a language both the accused persons understood and both pleaded not guilty to all counts.

As the state proceeded with the first witness, Ismaila Bojang, a soldier, said he was posted to the Gambia Armed Forces Finance Department, adding that on the day the incident happened, he was with three of his colleagues.  

He said they came from the beach and alighted at the Sukuta Jabang Traffic light to buy ‘Afra’, adding that they were seated behind the police officers who were on duty awaiting one of their colleagues who went to buy the ‘Afra’.

He said that upon the return of his colleague who went to buy the ‘Afra’, subsequently they heard a gunshot. “We thought it was a negligent discharge, and then we turned our attention to that direction,” he said, adding that they saw one of the police officers lying with a rifle on his face.

“The second male police was attempting to scuffle with the shooter but the shooter shot the police officer in his chest. That was the time I went out of the veranda running to rescue the police officers,” the principal witness further stated, saying the female police stood and attempted to run but she was also shot.

He further narrated that while he was running towards the scene, subsequently the shooter ran towards the direction of Sukuta. “All the three of us ran and shouted at the shooter: thief thief!”

The PW1 added that by the time they reached at the roundabout, he perceived the shooter was going to shoot and he stood on his right side. He said he heard a gunshot and he continued to run towards the end of Sukuta, subsequently, he said, the shooter turned on the right side of the junction after running for some meters.

He added that he heard a gunshot again but he continued to pursue him at a far distance about 400 meters, and he saw somebody coming towards them and he shouted again at the person fleeing thief, thief!

He also said the place was dark and it was not too visible but then he continued shouting thief to grab the attention of the neighborhood.  He said he later lost sight of person fleeing and saw a young man who told him he had scaled the fence. “I held the fence to look over and I didn’t see anything; so I went to the opposite side but I saw nothing,” he said.

He stated that he attempted to jump over the fence to follow him but his colleagues advised him not to do so because the shooter was armed and it could be catastrophic for him. Subsequently, he said, they returned to the crime scene and found out that the police officers had been evacuated.

“We tried to secure the crime scene until the police arrived but we could not because the crowd was encroaching; so my colleagues and I were searching and scanning the area and we found two bullet cases.

State prosecutor M. Faye asked him how he knew there was a bullet case and if he could give a brief description of the shooter. PW1 gave a brief description of the bullet case and the shooter who he said was wearing a “yellowish kind of shirt” and a three-quarter trouser, adding that the shooter was taller than him and he had bow legs.

The state counsel further asked PW1 if he had anything to say to the court but the defence counsel, L. Darbo, objected and said that would lead to opinions, which “are irrelevant” to the court.

The case was adjourned until 30 October for continuation of the cross examination of PW1.