Another Rape suspect freed

Friday, March 23, 2018

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh of High Court in Banjul has acquitted and discharged one Cherno Omar Gagigo after the prosecution failed to establish the offence against him.

Delivering judgment last Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the presiding judge disclosed that the accused person Cherno Omar Gagigo was charged on a bill of indictment containing one count charge of rape contrary to Section 122 of the Criminal Code, Cap 10, Volume 3, Laws of The Gambia.

The particulars of offence alleged that the accused person on or about the 5th day of August 2015 at Bakoteh in the Kanifing Municipality had unlawful carnal knowledge of a lady (name withheld), without her consent.

Justice Jaiteh revealed that the accused was arraigned before the court on the 14th of June 2016 and pleaded not guilty to the offence alleged.

He said the prosecution called only one witness and tendered the cautionary and the voluntary statements which was rejected during the mini trial.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the only witness Babucarr Jamamka whose testimony was to the effect of tendering the rejected cautionary and voluntary statements. 

He said there was no other witness called to testify, noting that the alleged victim did not testify in the trial and the prosecution closed their case.

Justice Jaiteh further disclosed that upon the close of the prosecution case, the defence raised a no case submission and State Counsel E.R. Dougan waived their right to address the court.

The trial judge said having carefully listened to the submission of no case to answer proffered by the defence and having read through the testimony adduced by the prosecution witness in the case, he found out that there was no evidence establishing any of the elements of the offence alleged.

He revealed that there was no iota of evidence before the court to the effect that the accused had sexual intercourse with the victim.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the victim was never called by the prosecution as a witness to testify as to the truth of whether or not any sexual intercourse took place.

He further disclosed that there was no eyewitness account to prove that there was rape or an element of rape and the prosecution did not tender any medical report of the alleged rape.

Justice Jaiteh said the prosecution did not lead any credible, cogent, and compelling evidence in support of the charged of rape against the accused person.

Justice Jaiteh further pointed out that he did not find any prima facie case against the accused person as he did not find that any essential element of such an offence as charged under this count has been proved.

He disclosed that how the accused person herein can then be expected to offer any explanation and consequently accepted the defence submission of no case to answer.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh accordingly dismissed the charge against the accused person and he was acquitted and discharged.

Author: Bruce Asemota