Two remanded for practising Female Genital Mutilation

Friday, March 11, 2016
Barely two months after the government pronounced the ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country, two suspects were yesterday indicted and remanded in custody for allegedly practising FGM.

Sunkaru Darboe and Saffiatou Darboe were arraigned before principal magistrate Omar Cham at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, charged with conspiracy to commit felony, prohibition of female circumcision, and accomplices to female circumcision.

The bill of indictment on count one stated that on 27 February 2016, at Sankandi village in Kiang West and diverse places in The Gambia, they conspired and took one Aminata Drammeh, a five-month-old baby to one Isatou Camara, for the purposes of conducting Female Genital Mutilation, which later resulted in her death.

Count two stated that Sunkaru Darboe, on 27 February 2016 at Sankandi village in Kiang West and diverse places in The Gambia, she took her five-month-old granddaughter, Aminata Drammeh, to be circumcised by one Isatou Camara, resulting in her death.

Count three indicated that Sunkaru Darboe, on 27 February 2016 at Sankandi Village in Kiang West and diverse places in The Gambia, she requested, incited and promoted female circumcision by taking her granddaughter, Aminata Drammeh, to Isatou Camara to be circumcised, which resulted in the child’s death.

Count four read that Saffiatou Darboe, on 27 February 2016 at Sankandi village in Kiang West and diverse places in The Gambia, she knew female circumcision was taking place and she failed to inform the authorities concerned about it.

They denied any wrongdoing.

Lawyer Lamin L.S. Camara applied for bail for the accused persons as the charges preferred against them are bailable offences in the eyes of the law.

He added that it was very clear from the charges that the investigation was over because there was a substantial charge before the court.

Though bail was at the discretion of the court, he would therefore enjoin the court to grant the accused persons bail.

In response, the police prosecutor, Corporal Kora, told the court that the case was brought for mention and the police are objecting to bail for the accused persons.

He said investigation into the matter was not yet completed, and if they were granted bail they might flee from the jurisdiction.

He said another accused person was still at large, and it would not help the investigation if the accused persons were granted bail.

He urged the court to remand the accused persons in custody.

The trial magistrate told the court that he would deliver the ruling on a later date and, in the meantime, the court had decided that the accused persons be remanded in custody until the day of the ruling.

The case was then adjourned until 15 March 2016, for ruling. 

Author: Bakary Samateh