Donn-Njie of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on 3 September, 2019, transferred
the case involving Ali Cham alias Killa Ace and 36 other Serrekunda Market
demonstrators to the High Court. They were charged on eight counts of
conspiracy to commit a felony, unlawful assembly, prohibition of conduct
conducive to breaches of the peace, arson, rioters demolishing building and
rioters injuring machinery.
When the case was called, Superintendent Mballow told the court that he was representing the IGP while Lawyer Abdoulie Sissoho announced his representation for the 31st accused person and the others.
Superintendent Mballow informed the court that seven accused persons who escaped from lawful custody were rearrested and would be charged with escaping from lawful custody. He noted that one of the accused persons had reported to the court.
Magistrate Donn-Njie, in her ruling, told the court that the case was adjourned for Superintendent Mballow to reply on points of law. She further stated that it was not necessary to go ahead with the deliberation of the prosecution and the defence.
She held that counts 4,5,6 and 7 are capital offences and are not bailable. She further noted that the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the counts, stating that both the prosecution and the defence agreed that they are capital offences and the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear such counts.
As a result, she disclosed, the Chief Justice has provided the establishment of the Special Criminal Division for capital offences. She declared that the court was recusing itself from the case. She ordered that the accused persons be remanded at Mile 2 Prison, pending the hearing of the case at the High Court.