Apr 21, 2009, 7:16 AM
Principal Magistrate Edrissa Fafa Mbai of the Banjul Magistrates' Court has ruled that one Saikou Camara was guiltless of the alleged offence of possession of prohibited drugs.
In his ruling Magistrate Mbai stated that the prosecution called five witnesses, all of whom were drug enforcement officers and who gave testimonies in court.
Magistrate Mbai stated that the first prosecution witness testified that after the police received a tip-off about the accused, they visited his home in Kotu.
He said the witness explained in court that upon their arrival they saw two boys going into the accused person's home and while they were in the accused's house they introduced themselves as drug enforcement officers and conducted a search and found 19 parcels of cannabis in a plastic bag, but could not state where in the house the drugs were found.
He said the witness further testified that as they continued on their search inside the accused's house an empty bag of rice was seen hanging from the top of a mango tree and was found to contain five bundles of cannabis. He added that the witness failed to understand that the accused was not living there alone.
Magistrate Mbai added that the fourth prosecution witness adduced contradicting testimony to the court when he stated that upon their arrival at the accused's house they saw two boys coming out of it.
Magistrate Mbai ruled that the inconsistency of the evidences testified by the prosecution witness cannot be a basis for the court to rule or make judgement in such unreliable circumstances so as to sentence for ten years or to impose a fine of one million Dalasi. The reliability of the document tendered, raised more doubts to the court since different inks were used in transcribing the document. In this case the benefit of the doubt always goes to the accused. Henceforth the accused was acquitted and discharged.