Touray and Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay on 16 April, 2019, appeared at the High
Court in Banjul and charged with conspiracy and interfering with an informant
or witness before Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay, allegations they denied.
When the case was called, State Counsel A.M. Yusuf announced his representation for the state while Defence Counsels Lamin S. Camara and Abdoulie Sissoho represented Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay and Yankuba Touray respectively.
Counsel Yusuf applied to the court for an adjournment to enable them to conduct their case diligently. Counsels Camara and Sissoho did not object to the application by the State Counsel for an adjournment.
However, Counsel Sissoho applied for bail on behalf of Yankuba Touray. He argued that the offences against his client are conspiracy and interfering with a witness which are felonies and are bailable offences under the CPC and the constitution. He stated that the matter commenced at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court on the same charges, noting that his client was initially charged with interfering with a witness and later conspiracy was added to the charge.
He submitted that bail was granted in the sum of D1M with two Gambian sureties with valid title deeds, who should deposit their ID cards and passports. He adduced that the first prosecution witness has testified, noting that the state withdrew the charges and transferred the file to the High Court. He revealed that his client does not have a valid passport for the past 5 years, and does not also have the current ID card.
He disclosed that his client has commercial interest and was also engaged in farming activities for many years, stating that having regard the charge before the court his client is a family man and his immediate family is at Bijilo. He urged the court to grant bail to his client on the same term and condition as granted by the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court. He went on to say that his client is innocent until he is proven guilty. He argued that his client should be at liberty to travel without any restriction, noting that the court has the discretion to grant bail, and urged the court to do so.
Counsel Camara rose and said that he associated himself with the submission made by Counsel Sissoho, saying that the charges filed by the state are bailable offences. He submitted that Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay was charged on the 8th of March, 2019, at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court and granted bail, adding that she was rearrested on the same charges .
State Counsel Yusuf objected and said that what the defence stated were facts, noting that the defence opted to make their submission orally. Then Counsel Camara told the court that he was not sure whether Counsel Yusuf was confusing two situations i.e. an application for bail was made formally and when an application was made orally. He argued that where counsel opted to invoke formal application, all averments should be deposed.
He further submitted that the objection would have been tenable if the application was made formally, as facts stated in the affidavit would not have been laid. He went on to say that the State Counsel did not point any factual averment that was not correct, arguing that the objection was misconceived and should be overruled.
Counsel Sissoho stood up and told the court that Counsel Camara should be allowed to continue his application for bail on behalf of his client, for the purpose of clarity. He said that the objection by the State Counsel should have been made at the material time, noting that the State Counsel slept over his right. He submitted that his objection was misconceived.
However, the State Counsel withdrew his objection, and the accused persons were subsequently granted bail in the sum of D1M with two Gambian sureties who should deposit their ID cards and swear to an affidavit of means. They should also surrender their title deeds with the registrar of the court.
Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay then adjourned the case to the 8th, 9th, 16th and 20th May, 2019, for the prosecution to make a lineup of their witnesses.