The first state witness in the case of Ousainou Bojang, accused of killing two police officers in September, has told a high court Judge in Banjul that the suspect shot and killed the two officers with a pistol.
Testifying as a state witness on Tuesday, the witness, Ismaila Bojang, said the suspect was the one who shot the officers on that fateful day.
The witness was giving testimony after the state filed a new bill of indictment against the accused persons, including Ousainou Bojang’s sister, Amie Bojang.
The state announced at the Tuesday proceeding that they intend to call 24 witnesses supporting their case against the accused persons.
Ousainou and Amie denied wrongdoing when the new charges were communicated to them in the Mandika Language.
After the plea taking, the State counsel informed the court that they were ready to proceed with the case and had a witness prepared to testify. However, Counsel Lamin J. Darboe, representing the first accused, stated that he needed time to prepare as the day’s proceedings were meant for plea-taking.
Justice Jaiteh ruled that the witness could testify, and cross-examination could take place at a later adjourned date.
The witness, Ismaila Bojang, a soldier, said he lived in Yundum Barrack and worked as a soldier in the Gambia Armed Forces financial department attached to the training school.
He said he went for training at the beach along with Omar S. Darboe and Bakary S. Jarju on the day of the incident. After returning from the beach, they were picked up by one driver, who dropped them at the Sukuta traffic light.
They decided to buy Afra meat through Omar while he (the witness) and other friends crossed the road to wait for Omar, who went to buy the Afra meat. They were sitting facing Jabang, behind police officers on duty.
Quizzed how many police officers were present, the witness stated that there were three officers, including one female and two males.
He further testified that he heard a gunshot and saw one officer lying on the ground with his gun while another officer was struggling to fight the shooter.
The witness said the shooter shot the second officer in the chest. He immediately rushed to help, but the shooter fired another shot at the female officer.
The witness testified that while rushing towards the shooter, he started running, and he (witness) and another colleague shouted “thief, thief” and chased him towards Sukuta.
The witness recounted the pursuit and how the shooter turned back occasionally, pointing a gun at them.
He said he chased the shooter, who escaped by jumping over a fence to another compound and wanted to follow suit, but his friend advised him not to as the shooter was armed.
He explained that they decided to go back to the scene to secure the place, but upon arrival, they found a huge crowd but were able to collect two gun cartridges.
State Counsel asked the witness how he knew that was a gun cartridge. He replied that an empty gun consists of iron with propellant powder and an open gasket.
When asked to describe the shooter’s physical appearance. Ismaila (witness) described the shooter as taller than him, with bowlegs, wearing a yellowish shirt and a three-quarter shorts. The witness noted that he saw the gun in the shooter’s hand, which was a pistol.
“Yes, it is a pistol, and the gun was in the hand of the shooter as I was chasing him,” he told the Judge.
During cross-examination, Counsel J. Darboe questioned the witness about the number of gun cartridges found at the scene and whether the witness had it with him. The witness replied that there were two gun cartridges and that he had handed them over to the police, who arrived at the scene.
The new charges against the accused include Murder, Prohibition of Acts of Terrorism, causing Grievous Bodily harm, and being an accessory after the fact to Murder, among others.
Prosecutors say on September 12, 2023, in Sukuta, Ousainou Bonjang intentionally caused the death of Police Constable Sang J Gomez and Pateh Jallow by shooting them with a gun.
He was further accused of committing terrorism under section 3(1)(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act by attacking Police Constable Pateh Jallow and Police Constable Sang J Gomez, shooting them with a gun and resulting in their death.
Bojang is also charged with attempted Murder of Police Constable Nancy Jawo by unlawfully trying to cause Constable Jawo’s death by shooting her with a firearm.
He was further accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Police Constable Nancy Jawo with a firearm, inflicting severe physical damage to her.
Amie Bojang, the second accused, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to Murder. She is accused of assisting Ousainou Bojang in evading jurisdiction by aiding his escape from the country despite being aware of his involvement in Murder.
Meanwhile, Justice Jaiteh, the presiding Judge, adjourned hearings to October 30 for cross-examination of the witness by Bojang’s counsel. The case will continue on November 6, 13, and 21, December 4, 11, 12, 14, and 18, 2023.