By Kebba Jeffang
Magistrate S. K. Jobarteh of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 23September, 2014 struck out the Abuse of office case involving Mr. Lamin Waa Juwara, the former Minister of Local Government and Regional Administration, for the lack of consistency in the appearance of the prosecution in the trial.
When the case was called, there was no representation of the IGP.
The trial magistrate therefore ruled that the accused person is discharged and the case is struck out accordingly. She informed the court that the matter has been adjourned for three consecutive times and which violates the rights of the accused person.
Magistrate Jobarteh said “the prosecution is at fault for the fact that the court sits at 9am and the time has now passed 9am and there is no prosecutor in the court.”
It could be recalled that during the last sitting on the 17th September 2014, Chief Inspector Lamin Touray, the actual prosecutor in the trial was absent. Sub-Inspector Ebrima Sarr, who held brief for him, applied for an adjournment of the case and informed the Court that CI Touray was not there as he was busy with his transfer to New Yundum police station as head of its Prosecution. His application was thus granted by the court after no objection was raised by the accused person. However, the trial magistrate warned that the hearing on the next adjourned date shall be the last time for such application.
However, immediately following the discharge of Mr. Juwara, he was later seen escorted by the police as he came out of the court house, apparently re-arrested.
Readers could recall that Lamin Waa Juwara, the former Minister of Local Government and Lands, first appeared at Brikama Magistrate’s Court on the 8th September 2014 charged with ‘Abuse of Office’ contrary to section 90 (1) of the criminal code which he denied.
The charge sheet states that Lamin Waa Juwara, sometimes in the year 2012, at Sinchu Gidom, Kombo South, West Coast Region in the republic of the Gambia, being an employee of the Gambia government as the minister of Local Government and Regional Administration, has abused the authority of his office in a manner that is prejudicial to the “Alkalo” and the elders of Jamburr village, by creating Sinchu Gidom as a village and appointing one Abubacarr Sillah as the “Alkalo” of the said village, knowing that Sinchu Gidom is a kabilo within Jamburr village and thereby committed an offence.