By Yankuba Jallow
The presiding magistrate Kebba Baldeh yesterday, 21st November 2016, in the case involving 24 government civil servants at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court granted bail to all the accused persons holding to the previous bail conditions given by Principal Magistrate Omar Cham.
The bail conditions are;
1) The bail is in the sum of D250000 each
2) There should be two (2) sureties and each should submit original national identity card
3) Two title deeds all in the Greater Banjul Area
The accused persons are Abdoulie Jallow, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, Abdoulie K.M Jallow, Lamin Camara, Lamin Sanneh, Tijan Jeng, Jerreh Sanyang, Malang Jammeh, Momodou Lamin Jammeh, Masaikou .M. Marong, John Belford, Yaya Drammeh, Ebrima Sanneh, Sambou Nget, Kebba Faal, Nfamara Dampha, Lamin Mai Touray, Lamin Juwara, Saikou Sidibeh, Momdou .C. Joof, Alieu Jammeh, Abdoulie M. Cham, Morro Krubally and Kantong Jallow.
They are all charged on two counts, namely neglect of official duty contrary to section 113 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Volume 3 Laws of The Gambia 2009 and abuse of office contrary to section 90 of the Criminal Code Cap 10:01 Volume 3 Laws of The Gambia.
When the case was called, Inspector S. Sanyang, Sergeant B.F.M Jaiteh and Coporal Bojang appeared for the Inspector General of Police whilst Counsel E. Sanneh appeared for the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 21stand the 23rd accused and held brief for C. Gaye for the 2nd accused person. Y. Senghor appeared for the 21st defendant as well as held brief for Counsel O.M.M Njie for the 3rd accused person.
All the accused persons were present.
Relying on section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code Counsel Sanyang applied to the court for the charge sheet to be replaced with the new one. He urged the court to allow all the accused persons to take their plea. The defence counsel had no objection to the application and all the accused persons took their plea. They told the court that they are not guilty.
Counsel Sanyang, Immediately after hearing the accused persons taking their plea applied for an adjournment for them to bring in PW1 on the next hearing date. Counsel Senghor told the court that some of the accused persons are on court bail and she applied for the court to grant them bail. She referenced her application by citing sections 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code and section 24 of the Constitution. “Both counts are bailable and we urge the court to grant them bail,” submitted Counsel Senghor.
“We have no objection to the application,” submitted Inspector S. Sanyang. Counsel Sanneh reminded the court of its previous ruling dated 14th November, 2016 that a bench warrant was issued for the arrest of the 8th and 13th accused persons. “They are all here and have taken their plea already; we urge the court to revoke the bench warrant,” submitted Counsel Sanneh. Similarly, he applied for bail for all the accused persons. “Some of the accused had a court bail and none of the bail conditions has been breached by any of the accused persons,” submitted Counsel Sanyang.
Inspector S. Sanyang reminded the court that a bench warrant was never issued for the arrest of the 8th accused person as he was at the remand wing in mile two central prisons. “I promised the court that today the 8th accused will be present for hearing in the last hearing and here he is,” submitted Inspector Sanyang.
After the Court rule on the bail conditions, some of the accused persons pleaded to the court amongst them are:
- Ebrima Sanneh, a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Works told the court he has a compound at Brikama but it has not been leased.
- Malang Jammeh a driver told the court he has been in the remand wing of Mile Two Prisons for five(5) months twenty one (21) days. He further said he has a compound at Siffoe but it is not leased too.
- Kebba Faal said “I got a land in the Greater Banjul Area but the documents are with the police as I got bail from them before coming here”
- Famara Dampha told the court that he is on a high court bail and spent millions to acquire the bail.
They all urged the court to reconsider its rulings. Counsel Y. Senghor told the trial magistrate that not only leased properties or title deeds but customary title deeds can be taken as the high court takes it. Magistrate Baldeh accepted her request and the case was adjourned till the 8th of December, 2016 at 1pm for hearing.