By Kemeseng Sanneh (Kexx)
One Yahya Manjang, who identified himself as a teacher and a marabout, Thursday said he was consulted by Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (alleged coup leader) for their plot.
He said Fadera (1st accused person) and Sub-Inspector of Police Fabakary Jawara (5th accused person).
The Accused Persons in this alleged foil coup trial are Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera (alleged ring leader), Sergeant Gibril Darboe, Corporal Ebrima Sannoh, Corporal Omar Njie and Sub-inspector Fabakary Jawara (as the only police in this suit)
Yahya Manjang, a native of Kombo Barsori village, a teacher and a marabout.
He said in November 2022 Mustapha Jabbi came to him with Fabakary Jawara introducing him as his friend. The witness said Fabakary told him that the country is in a difficult situation adding the way things are going is not normal.
Manajang said Fabakary asked him to help with prayers. He detailed that Fabakary asked him to do “Listikara”, which means religious prediction because one of his relatives wants to embark on a coup to unseat the President.
Manajang said he told Fabakary and Jabbi that he cannot do what they asked him to do for them, but he asked them to take out charity of colanut and bitter cola which they were supposed to take to different mosques. He added that he asked them to slaughter a goat at Gunjur. Manjang said he took them to another man who believes can do what they were looking for.
Manjang said after they left, Fabakary came back with his nephew Sanna Fadera on a later date.
“Fabakary and Sanna came to my house and that was the first and last time I saw him,” he said.
He further testified that he advised them that if they want to do a coup let them go to Mauritania, Cassamance, Mali, or Guinea and look for help from Marabouts.
Manjang he later travelled to Senegal where he got the news of their arrest. He said he spent 10 days in Senegal and on his return, the police came for him and he was taken to the Brikama Station. He added that after the questioning, the police took him to the Anti-Crime Unit in Banjulinding on the same Friday where he was detained until Monday when the police took him to the NIA headquarters.
He said the NIA told him that they didn’t know him but some people mentioned his name during their investigation which is why am been called.
He said he cannot recognise Sanna Fadera because he only came to him at night. He added that he can recognise Fabakary Jawara.
“That was the first time I met Sanna and that was the last as well. So I cannot recognize him,” he said.
Under cross-examination, the witness said he was released on bail on the same day he arrived at the NIA after giving his statement.
He said he was reporting to Banjul for a few times before he was referred to be reporting at Brikama, but he cannot remember the last time he reported.
On his police statement, the witness said he did not write the statement.
The witness said he met Fabakary Jawara three (3) times. He added that Fabakary used to explain his personal problems and sought spiritual solutions.
The police statement of the witness was tendered and marked DE3.
“I am putting it to you that Fa bakary never solicited your spiritual intervention in furtherance of a coup,” Lawyer Lamin S. Camara asked.
“Fabakary came to me and told me that his younger brother or nephew needed my help,” the witness answered.
Lawyer Camara told the witness that the reason why he can’t remember the dates and times is because all he said never happened.
The witness said the reason he cannot remember the time and date was that at the time they came to him, he was having problems on his head because his nephew was seriously sick and he was told that he should take him to Senegal for treatment before a particular period and the wife too was pregnant.
He was further asked whether he remember meeting one Mustapha Jawara, the witness replied he remember Mustapha Jarju, not Jawara but later said he remembered.
When asked whether during his detention at the NIA did he wrote a statement other than his police statement. He said he did not write a statement instead they were asking him questions.
Lawyer further told the witness that neithee Fabakary nor Sanna Fadera spoke to him about a planned coup. In his reply, the witness they came for him to help them because they want to do a coup.
Under cross-examination by Yankuba Darboe, the witness said the reason why he told them to take out the charity was because they told him that they wanted to do a coup.
“The reason why I asked them to remove those charities was that they wanted to do the coup,” he answered.
“So, what was the need for them to go to those countries when you have found them a charity already and they have done that,” Lawyer Darboe asked
“Because the prayer they want I cannot do that for them,” the witness answered.
“Is there no place in the Gambia that prayers can be done,” Lawyer Dabo asked.
“It can be here but the reason I asked them to go to those countries was so I don’t want to get involved,” he answered.
“But you asked them to remove those charities, If you didn’t want to be part of it, why to give them the charity and instruction,” Lawyer Dabo asked.
“When someone comes to you as a marabout you should look at it and see what to do about it,” he answered.
The case was adjourned to the 21st February at 1pm for the continuation of hearing.