D1M land deal lands in court

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ebrima Jagne, an accused, was on the 13th May, 2019, arraigned before Principal Magistrate Isatou Janneh-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court and charged with obtaining money by false pretence. He was alleged by prosecutors that he received the sum of D1,000,000 from one Alieu Jawara for a plot of land situated at Sukuta which he sold to him, knowing that the said land does not belong to him. He, however, denied any wrongdoing.

Defence Counsel Sega Gaye, who was representing the accused, rose and applied to the court to grant bail to the accused. He submitted that it was the constitutional right of the accused to be granted bail, citing Section 19 of the constitution. He also cited Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code, stating that it was the discretion of the court to grant bail to the accused. He went on to say that the offences against the accused were bailable , citing Section 24 of the constitution to support his argument. He urged the court to use its discretion to grant bail to the accused.

ASP Manga, the prosecuting officer, stood up and said that it was the discretion of the court to grant bail to the accused but expressed his concern that the matter came up last September and the accused would not come to court. He informed the court that a bench warrant was issued to the accused to be brought to court. He further stated that even when the bench warrant was issued for the arrest of the accused person, it was difficult to trace him out.

He noted that the accused was subsequently remanded at Mile 2 prisons. He revealed that the accused is presently involved in another case at Bundung Magistrates’ Court. He then urged the court to use its discretion to grant bail to the accused.

Lawyer Sega Gaye rose again and told the court that the case at Bundung Magistrates’ Court which was mentioned by the prosecutor had no bearing on the case at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

Subsequently, the presiding magistrate granted bail to the accused in the sum of D1,000,000 with two Gambian sureties who should deposit their valid ID cards to the registrar of the court. They should also swear to an affidavit of means. The accused should deposit his travelling documents to the registrar. He should always appear in court, failure which his bail would be revoked.

ASP Manga is expected to present his witnesses on the 27th May, 2019, for the commencement of the case. He was urged by the court to provide the defence with the witness statements to prepare their case. 

Author: Dawda Faye