By Rohey Jadama
Convicted Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, Party leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and eighteen others yesterday 21st November, 2016 appeared before a panel of 3 Judges headed by Justice Adogoke at the Gambia Court of Appeal.
The other accused persons are Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Baboucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masaneh Lalo Jawla.
They are appealing against the conviction of Justice Eunice O. Dada of the Banjul High Court who convicted and sentenced them to three years imprisonment.
When the case was called, Lawyers Antouman A.B Gaye, Mrs Amie Bensouda, Neneh Cham, Musa Bachily and Ms. Yassin Seneghore announced their representation for the appellant/applicants, whilst Hadi Saleh Barkun, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), M.B Abubacarr and L. Jarju appeared for the state (respondent).
At this stage Barrister Gaye informed the court that there is a motion before the court seeking for the joining of the separate individual appeals of the 19 appellants into one. He said the motion is dated 24th October, 2016 and filed the same date.
He added that the state has been served with the said motion but that they have not received any affidavit of opposition from the state. He said unless otherwise directed by the court they are ready to proceed with their motion.
Responding to Lawyer Gaye, the DPP acknowledged service of the motion dated 24th November, 2016. He further informed the court that they have not filed any counter affidavit and that they do not intend to oppose the motion.
Justice Adogoke ruled that all the 19 separate individual appeals have been made into one joint appeal of all the appellants.
At this stage Lawyer Gaye told the court that he is reliably informed that the records of the several appeals is ready waiting to be bound together. He applied for them to come back next week.
At this stage, the DPP said he does not know what the new number will be. Lawyer Gaye said there cannot be a new number, adding it would just be a consolidated appeal so and so. Justice Adogoke interjected and said the registry will handle that.
“I totally disagree with the DPP, these are individual appeals. The purpose of the consolidation is for them to be heard together. The question my lady asked whether there is any confusion will only arise if a new number is given”, argued Barrister Gaye.
The court in its ruling held that it agrees with the submission of learned defence counsel for the appellants that though this appeal is consolidated, but will maintain their numbers.
Subsequently the panel of 3 judges unanimously adjourned the case to 5 December, 2016 for proof of service and ordering of briefs.