By Mama A. Touray
The trial began on Tuesday in the case involving OusainouBojang and his sister over the murder of two paramilitary officers and the injuring of another with the first prosecution witness giving his testimony before a packed courtroom.
The witness Ismaila Bojang, a soldier stationed at the Gambia Armed Forces Training School, explained to the court that he was returning from a physical exercise at the beach on 12 September 2023, with his friends [Bakary R. Jarju and Omar S. Jallow) and that when they reached the Sukuta/Jabang Traffic Lights, they gave money to Omar Jallow to buy Afra while they waited under a veranda. He adduced that they were seated behind the three shot paramilitary officers as they waited for Bakary.
“We heard a gunshot upon Bakary’s return and we thought it was a negligent discharge. We then shifted our attention to the direction of the gunshot and we saw one of the officers on the ground, lying on his stomach while the second officer was attempting to stop him[shooter]. He then shot him in the chest,” the witness testified.
He told the court that it was then that he and his friends ran out of the veranda to offer help but the female officer attempted to run and was also shot.
Bojang said the shooter ran in the direction of Sukuta and he and his friends were shouting thief, thief, adding that by the time they reached the roundabout at the traffic light, he perceived the shooter wanted to shoot again but he sidestepped and heard a gunshot.
“The shooter bent towards Sukuta end on the right-hand side of the first junction and bent again as he ran. I moved to my right hand and he shot again. I continued to pursue him for about 300 to 400m and I saw somebody moving towards and I shouted thief, thief,” he explained.
The witness said the shooter stopped for seconds and then continued to run in the darkness as he[witness]shouted thief, thief to draw people’s attention.
He narrated that when he was told that the shooter jumped over a compound fence, he also attempted to scale the fence but his colleague Bakary R. Jarju advised him not to as the shooter was armed and that the arm could be catastrophic.
Bojang said they subsequently went back to the crime scene and were told that the officers were evacuated and when they scanned and searched, they recovered two empty bullet casings.
The witness said the shooter was bow-legged, adorned in a yellow kind of dress, and three-quarter trousers, and he[shooter]was taller than him.
“It is sympathetic to see police officers shot in cold blood,” the witness said when asked after his testimony.
At this juncture, the counsel for the first accused Dr. Lamin J. Darboe objected, saying the witness was just doing propaganda as he was about to cry.
The matter was adjourned to October 30th, November 6th , 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st 27th, 28th and December, 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 18th for continuation.