Court holds that DPP can appear in Modou Sowe’s case

By Lamin Sanyang
Justice Simone Abi of the Criminal Division of the High Court yesterday, Momodou SoweThursday, 4 December, 2014 ruled that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) can appear for the Attorney General in the habeas corpus case filed by the lawyer of Mr. Momodou Sowe, a former employee of State House, who has been allegedly detained at the State Central Prison Mile II for two years without trial.
When the case was called, lawyer Sagarr Jahateh announced her appearance for the applicant (Momodou Sowe) while the State was not represented. However, no reason was advanced to the court regarding the absence of the state. The applicant also was not present in court.
“The DPP is a law officer who has a mandate to appear for the Attorney General in all matters, whether civil or criminal or miscellaneous cases. I hereby dismissed the application made by the lawyer of the applicant accordingly,” said Justice Abi.
The trial judge, in his ruling stated that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) could appear for the Attorney General in civil matters, highlighting the submissions made by both the applicant’s lawyer and the state prosecutor. He mentioned the sections of the law cited by the two parties in their submissions, adding that both have agreed that the matter before the court is a miscellaneous one.
Justice Abi cited the various rules of the court and Acts in support of his ruling. He added that the President also has a mandate to appoint any law officer to appear in court. He said the DPP being a law officer does not need another appointment to appear for the Attorney General. Consequently, the application was dismissed.
The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, 9th December 2014, for the submission of the summons by the applicant’s lawyer.