He stated that on the 6th October, 2020, they found Tijan Macauley at the police station behind the counter and three or more police officers told him that they were waiting for their boss, Tijan Drammeh, to come.
“When Tijan Drammeh came, I explained the situation to him. I told him that their officers came and behaved unruly to the extent that they pepper sprayed everybody there. Tijan Drammeh told me that the pepper spray was not supplied to them, a statement I believed to be an attempt to deny that we were pepper sprayed,” he told the court.
He stated that they went home, and further said that Tijan Drammeh is an officer of the Drug Squad and was at the time at the Drug Squad Station. He posited that he spoke to the head and Tijan Drammeh. “We lodged a complaint at the police station. The complaint was about the pepper spray on my family and me. They took my statement and I later learned that we were charged. The police did not give us any reason for charging us,” he testified.
He adduced that it was a politician, Saihou Mballow, who came in and they were then charged, and were told that they were charged with obstruction. He went on to say that he did not go to the hospital and that he did not have any encounter after they were pepper sprayed.
Under cross-examination by the prosecuting officer, ASP Badjie, Mr. Jaiteh said that Tijan Macauley is his son and Yakumba Jaiteh his daughter. He told the court that he could not remember whether he was the one who reached the scene first or his daughter, Yakumba Jaiteh.
“We found Tijan Macauley was accosted and pushed against the wall. I did not know that those who accosted Tijan Macauley were police officers. I asked them why they handcuffed Tijan Macauley and I was told that they were searching him. Many people joined us. I attempted to separate them and talk over it, but I could not because of my age,” he asserted.
The police officers, he stated, had already taken Tijan Macauley away. He said that Tijan did not resist nor did the family. He confirmed that the police discharged pepper spray because of the crowd, and that he was hit directly on his face.
He further testified that he did not know that the police officers would have discharged pepper spray if there was no resistance.
“You were charged because you obstructed the police officers,” ASP Badjie put it to him.
“I deny it,” he responded.