Teacher charged with trafficking in obscene publication

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

One Habib Valentine, a Sierra Leonean national and a teacher, was recently arraigned before Magistrate Jabang of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, charged with trafficking in obscene publication.

He denied any wrongdoing.

The police prosecutor, Sgt 544 Jaiteh, objected to bail for the accused person, as the investigation is still ongoing and that some video pornography was found in the accused person’s mobile phone.

He said they wanted to conduct investigation in the accused person’s house and related places for further recovery of the videos and images.

Also, the witnesses they intended to call are known to the accused, and if granted bail he might interfere with the witnesses.

In response, defence counsel Foster urged the court to grant the accused person bail, as the accused is a young man with a wife and three children.

He said the accused was in custody for two months and three days, which was well over the limit of the constitution, which says 72 hours.

The accused is an IT lecturer and residing in The Gambia for ten years, working and serving various institutions and orgainsations.

Counsel Foster further argued that the charge is a bailable offence, and that all what the police needed was in their possession.

The presiding magistrate overruled the prosecution’s submission and granted the accused bail of D50,000 with two Gambian sureties, who must swear to an affidavit of means and to also deposit their ID cards.

The case was adjourned until 3 March 2016, for hearing.

The charge sheet read that the accused, Habib Valentine, in December 2015 at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Senior Secondary School in the Kanifing Municipality, being employed by the said school as an IT teacher and by breach of his profession, had in his possession pornographic videos and pictures of an unknown person and students from various schools, which he exhibited to Habiba Keita and Stella Adams, all students of the above school, an act that would expose the school children to immoral behaviour.

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie