By Rohey Jadama
On Monday, 13 June, Mrs. Fatoumatta Jawara, the chairperson of the female youth wing of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and 24 others appeared before the Gambia Court of Appeal to appeal against the bail ruling of Justice O. Ottaba of the Special Criminal Division of the Banjul high court.
When the case was called before a panel of 3 judges, comprising Justices Edrissa Fafa M’bai, president, and Justices Awa Bah and O.A Adogoke, lawyers Borry S. Touray and Neneh Cham appeared for the accused persons, while Hadi Saleh Barkun, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), announced his representation for the state.
At this juncture Lawyer Touray informed the court that the records have been typed but the registry has a problem with its machine which has a small break down and that the Assisatant Registrar is around and that the court can hear from him.
Mr. Ebrima Joof, the Assistant Registrar at the central registry, told the court that they have photocopied everything and now they are left with the binding of the records and they will be done either on that day (yesterday) or the next day (today).
The DPP told the court that he is not been served with a copy of the records, adding that if it is not ready he would not mind conceding to an adjournment of the case at the instance of the defence.
“May I humbly crave the indulgence of the court to adjourn the case to Thursday so that they can finalise the records and effect service to the State,” said Lawyer Touray.
He told the court that they have filed a certificate of urgency in this case.
However, the DPP told the court that Thursday will not be convenient for them because the substantive matter is coming up on the 15 and 16 June at Mansakonko and that they would not mind any other date. He said he does not know whether the ordering of briefs can be done in the absence of the appellants.
Lawyer Touray told the court that the matter is only coming up for mention and told the court to adjourn the case to Wednesday.
However, Justice Awa Bah reminded Barrister Touray that the panel does not sit on a Wednesday.
In his ruling, Justice M’bai said the DPP has informed the court he is going to Mansakonko and that the case can proceed in the absence of the appellants.
The case was adjourned to Thursday 16 June, 2016 for mention and ordering of briefs. The Assistant Registrar was ordered to compile the report before the next adjourned date.
The 25 accused persons are Fatoumata Jawara, Lamin Sonko, Bubacarr Gitteh, Baba Ceesay, Modou Touray, Ebrima Janko Ceesay, Lamin Camara, Alhagie Jammeh, Lansana Beyai, Lamin Jatta, Lamin Marong, Ebrima Jadama, Pa Ousman Njie, Kekuta Yabo, Bubacarr Jah, Muhammed Jawneh, BubacarrTouray, Saderr Secka , Alhagie Fatty, Fatou Camara, Modou Ngum, Kafu Bayo, Kalilou Saidykhan and Ebrima Jabang.