By Mamadou Dem
The lower Court in Banjul yesterday transferred to Mansankonko High Court the criminal case of two women accused of circumcising a minor resulting to her death.
Principal Magistrate Omar Cham presiding over the case relied on section 208A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) in making the pronouncement in a congested court room.
Meanwhile, the two accused persons are to be remanded at the state’s maximum security wing (Mile II) pending their appearance at the Mansakonko High Court.
Delivering the ruling, the presiding Magistrate outlined that he has heard the defence counsel Lamin S Camara’s submission before the court to grant bail to the accused persons for their temporal release from custody pending the hearing and determination of this matter.
“I have also heard the response of the prosecution, Corporal Kora, opposing the application,” said the Magistrate. He added that he averted his mind on the charges before him and the fact that the whole incident took place in Sankandi Village in Kiang West raised jurisdiction issues.
“It is trite law that one does not assume jurisdiction by default,” said Magistrate Cham.
“Another important consideration on the particulars of the offence, I noticed, is the fact that the victim died and that also being the case, I am not convinced that I have the jurisdiction really to preside over this matter. Therefore, the proper venue for this trial to hold is the Mansankonko Region where the incident took place.”
“Accordingly, I hereby refer this matter to the Mansankonko High Court for trial. In the same vein, pursuant to section 208 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) both accused persons are to be remanded in Mile II pending their appearances before the appropriate court.”