Drug suspect gets High Court bail

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The vacation judge, Ebrima Jaiteh last Wednesday, 11th of April, 2018 granted bail to Babucarr Jarju in the sum of one million dalasis (GDM 1.000.000) with one Gambian surety who must depose to an affidavit of means and must be the owner to a landed property.

Delivering his ruling, Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the applicant filed an originating summons on the 22nd day of January 2018.

The vacation judge further disclosed that the applicant prayed the court to grant the following orders:

1. That he be released unconditionally or be admitted to bail by the Court on such terms as the Court may deem just, proper and reasonable in the circumstances;

2. Such further or other orders that the said Court may deem fit to make.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the motion was supported by a 24-paragraph affidavit deposed and sworn to by Sarjo Jarju on the 22nd day of January 2018 with exhibit marked “SJ1” which is the charge sheet from Bwiam Magistrates’ Court.

He further disclosed that the State law office was served with the originating summons and did not file any affidavit in opposition to the bail application. 

Justice Jaiteh stated that upon reading the applicant’s affidavit, which is uncontroverted, it was deemed admitted and he made reference to the case of Banna versus Ocean View Resort Ltd. [2002-2008] 1 Gambia Law Report (GLR)

Justice Jaiteh further stated that the case of Banna versus Ocean View Resort Ltd. held that unchallenged or uncontroverted evidence whether viva voce or affidavit evidence, the court has no choice than to regard it as establishing the facts alleged.

He pointed out that the applicant’s counsel accordingly moved the motion in terms of the summons, accompanied with the affidavit and the attached exhibit, and urged the court to grant the application.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the court is vested with the power and discretion to grant bail in offences that do not carry death penalty of life imprisonment-citing section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

He said the offence the applicant is charged with is a bailable one in line with the section of the Criminal Procedure Code and that the court’s discretion in granting or refusing bail must at all times be exercised with due regard to the facts and circumstances of each case and having regards to the averments in the affidavit in support of the application.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that the respondent in his view, conceded that the offences alleged are bailable and do not see any reason to oppose bail, which is how it should be in deserving cases.

He cited Section 24(3)(a) of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia which presumes the innocence of the applicant until proven guilty, which presumption shall inure to the applicant’s benefit at this stage.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh accordingly granted the applicant bail in the sum of D1, 000,000 (One Million Dalasis) and must provide one Gambian surety who must depose to an affidavit of means in the like sum and must be the owner of a title to a landed property.

Justice Jaiteh further ordered that the surety shall deposit with the Principal Registrar of the High Court, the original title deed in respect of his/her said property, together with a valuation report on the property issued by an officer from the Lands Department or any other Government recognized Estate Valuer on a date not earlier than the date of this Order.

He finally ordered that the Principal Registrar of the High Court should verify, and under his or her hand, approve the title deed and valuation report deposited by the surety before the release of the applicant from custody.

Author: Bruce Asemota