Economic crime suspect gets bail

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

One Cherno Darboe was yesterday, 15th of May, 2018, granted bail by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh at the High Court in Banjul in the sum of half a million dalasi with one Gambian surety who must swear to an affidavit of means and an owner to a titled  landed property.

Cherno Darboe is among six suspects alleged to have sometime in the year of 2015 to 2018 in Brikama and in diverse places in the Republic of The Gambia, intentionally defrauded an amount of Two and four thousand, two hundred and fifty dalasi from the government of The Gambia by issuing Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) receipt of capital gain tax to customers.

In his ruling, the presiding Judge Ebrima Jaiteh disclosed that the applicant, Cherno Darboe filed an originating summons dated and filed on the 9th day of May 2018, the applicant prays that he be released from custody upon entering into recognizance with or without sureties condition for his appearance before any court where any charge(s) preferred against him will be heard or in the alternative.

He further disclosed that the motion was supported by a 21-paragraph affidavit deposed and sworn to by one Bubacarr Jarju of Tabokoto in the Kanifing Municipality on the 9th day of May 2018 with exhibit marked “CD1” which is the charged sheet from Banjul Magistrates’ Court.

Justice Jaiteh stated that the State law office was served with the originating summons in respect of the bail application and did not file an affidavit in opposition, as they are not opposed to the granting of bail to the applicant. 

Justice Jaiteh further stated that the applicant’s affidavit was uncontroverted and was deemed admitted, citing the case of Banna Versus Ocean View Resort Ltd [2002-2008] 1 Gambia Law Report where it was 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.

Justice Jaiteh disclosed that by Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court is vested with power and discretion to grant bail in offences, which do not carry the death penalty or life imprisonment. He further disclosed that the offence alleged to have been committed by the suspect bail able offences in line with that section of the Criminal Procedure Code, since none of them is punishable with death or life imprisonment.

He said in law, the matters to be taken into consideration on whether or not to grant bail include the nature of the charge, the severity of the punishment, the quality of the evidence available, likelihood of the accused jumping bail or interfering with witnesses, the criminal record of the accused if any and the likelihood of a repetition of the offence if granted bail.

Justice Jaiteh pointed out that the court’s discretion in granting or refusing bail must at all times be exercised with due regards to the facts and circumstances of each case and having regards to the averments in the affidavit in support of the application he believes that the basic conditions for grant of bail was met in the averments in that affidavit.

Justice Ebrima Jaiteh accordingly granted bail to Cherno Darboe in the sum of D500, 000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Dalasis) and ordered that the applicant provide one Gambian surety who must depose to an affidavit of means in the like sum and must be the owner of a titled 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 the Order.

He also ordered the Principal Registrar of the High Court to 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