DARBOE, 18 OTHER UDP LEADERS FACE 6 CHARGES Bail Hearing Today

By Kebba Jeffang
Lawyer Ousainou A.N.M Darboe and 18 other members of the UnitedFrom right Momodou Sanneh Fakebba Colley Lamin Dibba Lawyer Darboe Kemeseng Jammeh Femi Peters Aji Suwareh Bojang
Democratic Party (UDP) were on Wednesday, 20th April, 2016 arraigned at
Banjul High Court to face 6 criminal charges  before Justice O. Ottaba.
The accused persons were escorted by a large number of PIU personnel who guarded the premises. It is easily noticeable that some of the accused had sustained injuries. Family members were also seen filling the courtroom.
The names of the accused persons are Lawyer Ousainou Darboe,
Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yahya Bah, Babucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Momodou Fatty, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudu Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K Sanneh and Yaya Jammeh.
S.H Barkum, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with 7 other state counsels appeared for the state whilst Lawyer Antouman Gaye and 10 other lawyers represented for the accused persons.
DPP Barkum informed the court that the bill of indictment was filed
on Wednesday. He said the matter could proceed after the accused persons have taken their plea.
However, Mr. Gaye advocated that it is a requirement of the law to
serve the accused persons with the bill of indictment before they take their pleas. He argued that they should be served.
The presiding judge decided that the accused persons should
be served with the indictment before plea taking.
Therefore, all the accused persons were served henceforth.
The court clerk read out all the charges which were translated
in the local languages and all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the six counts.
Count one: Unlawful assembly contrary to section 70 of the
Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol. 3 Laws of the Gambia 2009.
The particulars of offence on the said count states that all the nineteen accused on the 16 April, 2016 at Kairaba Avenue, Kanifing Municipality and within the jurisdiction the court with intent to breach the peace and provoke other persons to do the same, unlawfully assembled in a manner that caused fear in the neighbourhood and thereby committed an offence.
On count two they were charged with ‘Riot’ contrary to section 69 and punishable under section 71 of the Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol. 3 Laws of The Gambia.
The particulars of count two states that the same people at the same
place and time, assembled without a permit with intent to breach the
peace and cause terror to the public and thereby committed an offence.

Count three is incitement of violence contrary to section 59B(1)(b) of
the Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol. 3 Laws of The Gambia 2009.
Its particulars state that the same accused persons, at the same time and place published banners with statements calculated to lead to the
destruction or damage to properties and thereby committed an offence.

Count four alleges ‘riotously interfering with vehicles contrary to section 78 of the Criminal Code Cap 10 Vol. 3 Laws of The Gambia 2009.
The particulars of offence on the said count states that the same
people, at the same time and place without a permit, assembled in a manner that prevented the movement of vehicles around Westfield and thereby committed an offence.

On the fifth count, the accused persons were charged for ‘holding a
procession without a permit contrary to section 5(5)(a) of the Public
Order Act Cap 22 Vol 4 of the Laws of the Gambia 2009.
The particulars of the offence states that the same accused persons, at the same time and place, held a public procession without a permit from the
Inspector General of Police and thereby committed an offence.

Count six reads: ‘disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession contrary to section 5(5)(b) of the Public Order Act Cap 22 Vol. 4 of the Laws of The Gambia 2009.’
The particulars of offence on the said count states that the same
accused persons, at the same time and place disobeyed the order of the deputy superintendent of Police Musa Sanyang and other police officers to
disperse from their ‘unlawful assembly’ and thereby committed an offence.
Meanwhile, the lead defence counsel Mr. Gaye told the court, “I
wish to apply on behalf of the accused persons for them to be admitted
to bail.”
However, the DPP interjected to argue that due to the nature of the case and the time (as it is was getting dark), the court should ask the defence to come formally. He submitted that they will need strong facts so that they can be heard on those facts in a bail application.
Lawyer Gaye argued that the law allows bail application to be done
orally. He said that is a constitutional right.
“DPP has not told us where the accused persons have come from since the date of their alleged offences. This has gone beyond 72 hours now.
These people are coming from the state central prisons Mile 2 straight to this court. Six of these accused persons are put in solitary
confinement at Mile 2. It shows the urgency of hearing oral
application for bail. Besides, all the six counts are bailable
offences and some of them need medical attention,” said counsel
Gaye.
However, the trial judge ruled that the bail application will remain formal.
The matter at this juncture was adjourned till Wednesday 27th April, 2016 for hearing while bail application is due for hearing today at 10am.