Ebrima Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul declared in a ruling delivered on the
1st July, 2019 that the High Court of The Gambia has jurisdiction to try and
remand murder suspects like Yankuba Touray.
Justice Jaiteh’s declaration was premised on the application made by lawyer Abdoulie Sissoho, legal Counsel for Yankuba Touray that the High Court does not have jurisdiction to remand the accused (Yankuba Touray).
Lawyer A. Sissoho raised the issue of jurisdiction when the matter was called and he pointed out that the High Court is bound to settle the issue of jurisdiction and cannot make an order remanding the accused person without settling the issue of jurisdiction.
Lawyer Sissoho urged the court to order the accused person to be returned to the custody of the police where he came from.
The Attorney General Abubacarr Ba Tambadou indicated that the charge against the accused is a felony and a very serious offence.
He submitted that the accused person is charged with murder and that the counsel for the accused needs more time in order to advise his client properly before plea taking.
The Attorney General urged the court to adjourn the matter and remand the accused person to custody.
In the court ruling, the court formulated one issue for determination and that is “whether the High Court has jurisdiction to remand the accused person.”
The trial judge informed the court that the accused person is charged with murder contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap 10, Vol 3, laws of the Gambia 2009.
The court further directed that the accused person (Yankuba Touray) needs adequate time to have conference with his legal counsel and be advised on the nature of the charge and plea taking.
The court disagreed with the submission of Lawyer Sissoho and was not persuaded by it that the court does not have jurisdiction to remand his client.
Justice Jaiteh declared that a police station is not a detention centre for murder suspects but the proper place for murder suspects is at a secured location and that is the remand wing.
The court also refused application for a 30 minute stand down and subsequently ordered Yankuba Touray to be remanded at Mile 2 Central Prisons pending further orders of the court.
Meanwhile, the case was adjourned to 8 July, 2019 between 10:00am and 11:00am for plea taking.
It could be recalled that Yankuba Touray has been charged with murder contrary to Section 187 of the Criminal Code Cap 10, Vol 3 , laws of The Gambia, 2009.
The particulars of the offence stated that sometime in the month of June, 1995 at Kololi in the West Coast Region, with malice aforethought caused the death of Ousman Koro Ceesay by beating him with a pestle-like object and other dangerous weapons. Correction: In our Monday’s edition, we inadvertently ran a story headlined: ‘No Constitutional Immunity’ for Yankuba Touray – Supreme Court Declares. However, it has been brought to our attention that the Supreme Court’s 2001 judgment had nothing to do with Yankuba’s claim at TRRC and that Supreme Court has never made such a pronouncement and that the matter of Yankuba Touray’s immunity has never been and is currently not before the Supreme Court. The error is deeply regretted.