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Court rules in favour of Prosecution

May 12, 2010, 1:02 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke of the Kanifing Magistrate's Court recently ruled in favour of the prosecution against the no-case-submission made by defence counsel, Kebba Sanyang, on behalf of the accused person, Musa Sidibeh.

The accused, Musa Sidibeh, is charged with making a Gambian Identity Card without authority, knowing fully that he is not a Gambian.

In his no-case-submission, the defence counsel told the court that the accused was charged on count two with making document without authority, to which he pleaded not guilty.

He submitted that it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, as required by Section 144 of the Evidence Act. He stated that the prosecution had woefully failed to prove the ingredients of the offence.

He further submitted that the prosecution has to prove that the accused had made, signed or executed a document.

He then argued that these are the elements of which the prosecution should prove according to Section 332 of the Criminal Code.

"We submit that none of the ingredients have been proved by the prosecution in this case, thus the need for a submission of no-case-to-answer," the defence counsel told the court.

He further argued that a submission of no-case-to-answer could be properly made where the evidence of the persecution witnesses does not disclose or establish the elements or ingredients of the offence charged.

He went on to submit that, even where the evidence of the prosecution witnesses disclosed or established the elements or ingredients of the offence charged. He noted that "the effects of the cross-examination of the witnesses had rendered those evidences, so manifested, un-reliable that a reasonable court cannot convict the accused on such evidence."

He urged the court, in pursuance of Section 166 of the Criminal Code, to discharge and acquit the accused.

In his reply, Inspector Mballow, the prosecuting officer argued that Section 166 of the Criminal Procedure Code requires persons applying for that section to be invoked by the court to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt that a prima-facie case has not been made by the prosecution.

Inspector Mballow submitted that the prosecution had proven the elements of the offence charged.

"The testimony of PW3 has indicated that the said ID Card was found on the accused, bearing his name," Inspector Mballow told the court.

"The accused did so to deceive the Immigration Authorities, any other official that he is a Gambian national, knowing fully well that he is a Malian national," Inspector Mballow challenged.

He submitted that Section 332(A) of the Criminal Code has been satisfied and then urged the court to ask the accused to enter into his defence.

Magistrate Mbacke, after perusing through the submissions made by the defence and the prosecution, told the court in his ruling that the accused has a case to answer. He stated that it was the accused, who gave the Immigration Department the information to obtain an ID card, when he knew he is not a Gambian.

He therefore urged the accused to open his defence. But the accused, in a U-Turn changed his plea from 'not guilty' to 'guilty'.

The case was subsequently adjourned to 12th May 2010, for conviction.