Jun 18, 2014, 11:45 AM
The case of the two remanded women, who were accused of practising Female Genital Mutilation, was yesterday transferred to Mansakonko as the jurisdiction where the alleged offence was committed.
Delivering the ruling, the trial magistrate in Banjul said he had heard defence counsel Lamin S. Camara’s submission before the court to grant bail to the accused persons for their temporary release from custody, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
“I have also heard the response of the prosecutor, Corporal Kora, opposing the application.”
The magistrate said had averted his mind on the charges before him and coupled with the fact that the whole incident took place in Sankandi village, in the Kiang West district of the Lower River Region, which raised the issue of jurisdiction.
“It is trite law that one does not assume jurisdiction by default,” said Magistrate Cham.
He said another important consideration, on the particulars of the offence, was the fact that the victim died and, that also being the case, he was not convinced that he has the jurisdiction to preside over the matter.
Therefore, he added, the proper venue for the trial to hold is the Mansakonko Region, where the incident took place.
“Accordingly, I hereby refer the matter to the Mansakonko High Court for trial,” he announced.
“In the same vein, pursuant to section 208 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) both accused persons are to be remanded in Mile 2 pending their appearance before the appropriate court.”
Sunkaru Darboe and Saffiatou Darboe were earlier 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.
Count one of the particulars of offence read 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.