By Kebba Jeffang
Eleven people, including Edrisa Touray, the Alkalo of Sambouya, in the West Coast Region and a woman, were on Tuesday, 27th January, 2015 charged with felony and obtaining one million dalasi by false pretence at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Omar Cham.
The accused persons are Ousman Touray, Ousman Bojang, Karamo Touray, Malick Camara, Edrisa Touray, Satou Silameh, Momodou Bajo, Momodou Fatty, Muhammed Lamin Jabang, Kutubo Fatty and Yankuba Jabang.
However, the eleven accused persons did not take their plea during the proceedings.
Lawyer Borry S. Touray, counsel for the 5th to 11th accused persons told the court that the offences are of the same and similar character but did not occur in the same course. He advised the prosecution that all the accused persons should not be tried jointly because the transactions are different.
The prosecuting officer, Chief Inspector Fadera, responded that looking at the evidence before them he may or may not agree because the matter was jointly investigated and according to the evidence there is no difference in the transactions. He therefore urged the court to let the accused persons take their plea and after which they can advise themselves on what to do next.
However, the trial judge said since the defence is not objecting to the charge, the prosecution should be left to handle their case and therefore allowed the accused persons to take their plea.
The 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th accused persons were not represented by counsel but they expressed their wish to have a lawyer to represent them.
At this juncture, Counsel Touray announced that he would be representing all the accused persons and that he is applying for bail on their behalf.
There was no objection from the prosecution regarding the application.
The trial judge then granted them bail in the sum of D100, 000 each and ordered them to each produce two Gambian sureties who should depose to an affidavit of means in the like sum and also deposit the original copy of their ID Cards. He also gave one week to the 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th accused persons respectively to secure a lawyer.
The case will continue on the 5th February, 2014 for plea taking.
The particulars of offence on count one states that the accused persons, namely; Ousman Touray, Ousman Bojang, Karamo Touray, Malick Camara, Edrisa Touray, Satou Silameh, Momodou Bajo, Momodou Fatty, Muhammed Lamin Jabang, Kutubo Fatty and Yankuba Jabang on or about the year 2010 to 2014 in Tujereng, Sambouya, Sanyang, Gunjur, Tintinto, and Mariama Kunda respectively, in Kombo South and West Coast Region jointly conspired amongst themselves to commit a misdemeanor to wit obtaining money by false pretence.
Count two states that the accused persons at the same time and places with intent to defraud, obtained an amount of money over one million Dalasis from Global Properties from Michael Jatta and some other people with the pretext that they have lands to allocate them and knowing and believing that the said representation is false and untrue.