Testifying yesterday before Justice Sidi Jobarteh of the High Court in Banjul, the witness said the suspect Kumba Sinyan, admitted that she killed Lamarana Jallow at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau due to self-defence, saying: “The accused made this confession during a verbal interrogation by a team of police investigators,” the witness said.
Kumba Sinyan, a young entrepreneur, is charged with murder contrary to section 187 of Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Revised Laws of the Gambia 2009.
When the case was called, State Counsel M. Sanyang announced her appearance for the State while Counsel Sagar Cecilia, announced her appearance for the accused person.
State Counsel M. Sanyang, who led the witness during his testimony yesterday, asked the witness whether he recognised the accused person in the witness box. The witness responded positively, saying: “I recognise the accused person as Kumba Sinyan. I got to know her from the Bakau Police Station. It was on the 14th of September 2022, I received a call from the then Station Officer ASP Foday Conta that there was an alleged murder case at the Friendship Hostel at Bakau. At this time, the suspect was already arrested and the case file was to be sent to my office for further investigation,” he said.
PW9 added: “Upon arrival at work on the same day, I received a case file with reference number 01/14/09/2022 of an alleged murder case with the suspect name as Kumba Sinyan and that the file was received for investigation.”
The accused, Touray said, was interrogated verbally. “However, she denied the allegation at that time that she had killed Lamarana Jallow. A team was formed involving police officers and investigators. We then went to the scene of crime at Room 111 at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau.”
Continuing his testimony, Detective Touray added: “Upon arrival at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, we were received by a senior receptionist of the hostel who led us to the same Room 111 together with the suspect Kumba Sinyan. After entering the room, necessary steps were taken by the crime scene officer and the body of the Lamarana Jallow was then evacuated to the Ndemban Clinic and later referred to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul for further medical examination,” he postulated.
The witness said they later proceeded to Kumba Sinyan’s residence. “I led the team of investigators to her residence where some evidence was recovered. We recovered an inner packet of razor blades. It was recovered and handed over to the crime scene officer for proper labelling. The purpose of our visit to her residence was to recover the clothes of the suspect she wore during the day of the alleged murder case. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the clothes on that day because they were kept by the suspect.”
“We later returned to the office. At this time, I decided to inform the deceased family of what happened through the help of Kumba and GCCI where he (Lamarana Jallow) used to work. The verbal interrogation continued and later in the day, Kumba confessed to killing her boyfriend Lamarana Jallow due to self-defence.”
Police Officer Touray said: “In the evening of the same day, I led the same team of investigators to Kumba’s residence with a view to recover the clothes she wore on that day. We were successful on that day because Kumba Sinyan led the way and recovered the clothes where she kept them in the wardrobe and handed them to me personally.”
The clothes, detective Touray said, were a brown trouser and black long Shirt and a black cap with the labelling “In Shaa Allah” written on the cap and also a packet of razor blade. “All the evidence was later handed over to the crime scene officer for proper labelling.”
Asked by the State Counsel whether he could recognise the trouser if shown, the witness responded in the positive. The brown trouser which was sealed was unsealed and shown to the witness which he recognised.
The state Counsel later applied for the trouser to be tendered as exhibit in support of her case. It was later admitted and marked as Exhibit H1.
The black shirt was also shown to her and the witness recognised it, and it was also admitted and marked as Exhibit H2. The cap was also admitted and marked as Exhibit H3 after the witness admitted to recognising the said black cap. The packet of razor blade was also marked and admitted as exhibit H4.
“I also led the same team on the 15th of September 2022, to Kumba Sinyan’s residence. We also recovered her phone which was black sony mobile. She led us to a room opposite her bedroom. The room looks like a store but there is a mattress. She lifted the mattress and pulled out her phone and handed it over to me. The same procedures were followed and I handed the phone to the crime scene officer.”
State Counsel M. Sanyang asked the witness whether he could recognise the black Sony phone if shown to him. The phone was later shown and he said he recognised it as the phone which Kumba handed over to him during the day of their visit to her residence.
The state counsel then applied for the said phone to be tendered and admitted as exhibit. The presiding judge granted her request and the phone was admitted as exhibit and marked as Exhibit HJ.
The case was then adjourned to Friday 13th for cross examination of the witness by the defence counsel.