By Rohey Jadama
Borry S. Touray, Attorney for Borry J. Saidy, the former Acting Manager of Air Traffic Services at the Banjul International Airport has told the the Brikama Magistrates’ Court to strike out the case involving his client.
Submitting before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham, Barrister Touray urged the court to take stock of his earlier application which was overruled by the court.
When the case was called Lawyer Borry S. Touray announced his representation for the accused, while Inspector Gibba appeared for the Inspector General of Police(IGP).
The accused is alleged to have written to the Office of the President claiming an unfair treatment which information he knew or believed to be false and had thereby committed an offence, charges he denied.
“I respectfully submit that the petition which generated this criminal action was addressed to Yaya Jammeh and I submit that there is a constitutional overthrow of his government. The authority that was vested on him by virtue of section 1(2) of the constitution was retrieved”, he submitted.
The sovereign authority, he went on, that has been vested in him by Gambians has been retrieved. He added his commands, instructions, orders, directives whatsoever in any manner, howsoever has evacuated following the events of 1st December, 2016 elections.
Lawyer Touray submitted that it was (he) Jammeh who instructed or ordered that his client be charged in exercise of his constitutional freedom as conferred on him by section 25(f) of the constitution to petition the executive.
“This case as constituted is not a criminal case. It is not a murder or rape case. In criminal proceedings the law takes its course notwithstanding the change of government. However, this does not apply to the accused because he exercised his freedom by virtue of section 25(f) of the constitution”, he said.
According to Barrister Touray, when you look at section 25 (f) which gives one the right to petition the executive, there is no law in the country which caters for citizens to petition the executive except the constitution and that there is nowhere under section 25 where this right has been derogated.
He further submitted that there is no parliamentary law in this country that derogated this right to petition the executive.
At this juncture, the trial magistrate requested to see Lawyer Touray in chambers for five minutes, however, prosecutor Gibba also requested to join them, which was granted by the magistrate.
After resumption, Lawyer Touray continued his submission, adding that the court has the jurisdiction to determine whether the president is a public officer or not. He cited an authority to support his application. Finally, he urged the court to strike out the matter
Prosecutor Gibba applied for the matter to be adjourned till next week to enable him reply to the submissions of Lawyer Bory Touray. He further told the court that his administration is looking into such cases to see whether to continue with them or not.
However, Lawyer Touray said he does not want the bureaucracy of the police to affect his client. He said he wants the court to make a ruling on it.
The trial magistrate however, granted the application of the prosecution and subsequently adjourned the case till Monday 13 February, 2017 for the prosecution to reply to the application of the defence counsel.