Jailed former Chief Justice’s appeal fails As Court is to give reasons later

By Lamin Sanyang

A panel of three judges headed by Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle of The Gambia Court  Joseph Wowoof Appeal has dismissed the appeal of Joseph Wowo, former Chief Justice of The Gambia, against his conviction and jail sentence by the Special Criminal Division of the High Court.

Delivering the judgment in a crowded courtroom after standing down for some hours yesterday, 18 December, Justice Fagbenle said “The appeal has failed and is dismissed. We will give the reasons at the next adjourned date.”

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) appeared for the state whilst lawyer Uzoma appeared for the jailed former Chief Justice.

Justice Fagbenle said the briefs were properly filed and was prepared to proceed with the case but has questioned the appellant’s lawyer about the validity of the Notice of Appeal dated January 2013.

The appellant’s lawyer submitted that the court has granted the prayer in the said motion, adding that a consolidated appeal was also granted by the same court as properly filed. He submitted that the main prayer was for the consolidation of the appeal.

“I submit that the said motion is valid before the court and confirms the basis of the case before this court,” said the appellant’s lawyer.

Lawyer Uzoma further argued that the state has not made any objection which, he said, was the reason why there was no appeal for granting the application. He said there should be no speculation in the mind of the court as to whether or not the appeal is valid.

Consequently, the matter was adjourned to Monday, 12th January 2014.

Joseph Wowo is presently serving a two year custodial sentence after he was convicted last year.