Kumba Sinyan arriving at court
By Landing Ceesay
Mamadou Touray, a police investigator at the Serious Crime Unit of the Gambia Police Headquarters in Banjul, testified in court that Kumba Sinyan, the accused, confessed to killing Momodou Lamarana Jallow, the deceased, in self-defense.
Touray, who appeared as the Ninth Prosecution Witness (PW9) before Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh of the High Court of the Gambia, recounted his conversation with the accused.
“I received a call from my boss, Foday Conta about an alleged murder case at Bakau and that the accused is arrested. I was handed the case file, and she was interrogated, but she denied the allegations. We formed a team and went to room 111 at Friendship Hostel in Bakau. Necessary steps have been taken by the officers on the team. Then the dead body of Lamarana was evacuated to the Ndemban Clinic and later referred to EFSTH. We proceeded to Kumba Sinyan’s residence,” PW9 said.
The police investigator testified in court, explaining that the primary objective of their visit was to retrieve the clothing worn by Kumba Sinyan. However, they were unable to do so as Kumba Sinyan had retained possession of the garments.
Subsequently, he informed the court that they made the decision to return to their office. At this juncture, he proceeded to notify Lamarana’s family about the situation. Additionally, he informed his workplace, which is the GCCI office, of the developments.
“The verbal introduction continued, and later Kumba finally gave evidence and confessed to the killing. She confessed to the killing of her boyfriend, Momodou Lamarana Jallow (deceased), out of self-defense. In the evening of the same day, I led the same team to her residence to recover the same clothes she wore. This time we were successful because she personally led the way, removed the clothes from her wardrobe, and handed them over to me personally.
“Brown trousers, a black long-sleeve shirt, a black cap with the label Insha Allah, and also an out packet of razor blades were recovered. These items were passed on to the crime scene officer for proper labeling,” PW9 told the court.
Prosecution Counsel, Mammy Sanyang, subsequently presented the brown trousers, black long-sleeve shirt, black cap, and razor blades to the Police Investigator for identification purposes.
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The Police Investigator duly affirmed in court that the items in question were indeed the ones recovered from Kumba Sinyan’s residence. Following this confirmation, Prosecution Counsel Mammy Sanyang made an application to formally submit the trousers as evidence in the proceedings.
However, Counsel Sagarr Twum, the legal representative for Kumba Sinyan, raised objections regarding the admission of certain items, including trousers, a shirt, a cap, and razor blades, as evidence.
Counsel Twum contended that the witness currently before the court was not the rightful custodian of the items intended for submission as evidence. Instead, Counsel Twum argued that Crime Scene Officer Corporal Samba Bah (PW8) should be the appropriate custodian of these items.
In response to Counsel Twum’s objection, Prosecution Counsel Mammy Sanyang informed the court that Counsel Twum appeared to have misconceptions regarding the responsibilities of the crime scene officer.
Counsel Sanyang further clarified that it had already been established in the evidence presented that the trousers, shirt, cap, and razor blades were not recovered by the crime scene officer.
Honorable Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh proceeded to accept the items as evidence. Justice Jobarteh noted that the witness, being the one who had recovered the items along with his team from the accused individual, Kumba Sinyan, was a rightful custodian of said items.
In the course of his testimony, the police investigator also apprised the court of their subsequent visit to Kumba Sinyan’s residence to retrieve Lamarana’s (the deceased’s) phone.
“I led the same team the following day to her residence. But this time, it is to retrieve the victim’s phone. After she (Kumba Sinyan) confirmed to me that she has it. Upon arriving at her residence, she led us to a room opposite her bedroom, which is like a store, but there is a bed and mattress as well. She lifted a mattress, brought a black Sonny Experia phone, and handed it over to me. The procedure was followed, and it was passed on to the crime scene officer for proper labeling,” the witness told the court.
Prosecution Counsel Mammy Sanyang handed the phone over to the police investigator for identification purposes.
The police investigator subsequently affirmed in court that the phone presented was indeed the one retrieved from Kumba Sinyan’s residence.
Following an application by Prosecution Counsel Mammy Sanyang, the phone was formally entered into evidence.
Justice Sidi K. Jobarteh scheduled the next hearing for October 13, 2023, when the witness will be subjected to cross-examination.
Background of the case.
Kumba Sinyan a young entrepreneur, is charged with murder contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap: 10:01 Revised Laws of the Gambia 2009.
Prosecutors alleged that the suspect, on or about September 14, 2022, at The Friendship Hostel in Bakau, with malice aforethought, caused the death of one Lamarana Jallow by cutting his stomach with an object and thereby committed an offense punishable with death under Section 188 of the Criminal Code Cap of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.