Jun 23, 2017, 9:56 AM
The 20 accused persons on the amended charge sheet are Ousainou Darboe, Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yaya Bah, Babucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Momodou Fatty, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Jukuna Suso, Momodou L.K. Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masanneh Lalo Jawla.
They are charged with seven counts of unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with vehicles, holding a procession without a permit and conspiracy.
DPP S.H. Barkun along with the Deputy DPP M.B. Abubacarr appeared for the state.
The defence team was led by Senior Counsel A.A.B. Gaye along with A.N Bensouda, Hawa Sisay-Sabally, SM Tambadou, B.S. Touray, OMM Njie, Mary A. Samba, Rachel Y. Mendy, Neneh Cham, Musa Bachilly, Abdoulie Sissoho, Yasin Senghore, Hajum Gaye, M. Touray, Sagar Jahateh, and Dayoh Small.
Hundreds of sympathisers, parents, relatives and supporters attended court proceedings, with people both in and outside the court premises amidst a tight security presence.
When the case was called, DPP Barkun said they failed to file their amended information during the last sittings, but they have succeeded in doing so.
He said they have included the name of Masaneh Lalo Jawla, which is number 20 and also added a conspiracy count, bringing the charges to seven counts.
Senior Counsel Gaye said: “I have been served with the amended information here in court, and I think it is proper for us to apply for a stand down to look at the amended information before responding to it.”
He applied for 30-minutes stand down, but the trial judge gave the defence 20 minutes.
Upon resuming, Senior Counsel Gaye said: “We have consulted, and we have no objection.”
The trial judge then granted the application and substituted it for the original information.
All the charges were read to Masaneh Lalo Jawla, and he pleaded not guilty to them.
The conspiracy charge was read to Darboe and Co and they all pleaded not guilty to it.
According to the particulars of offence on count 7, the accused persons Ousainou Darboe, Kemeseng Jammeh, Femi Peters, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Yaya Bah, Babucarr Camara, Fakebba Colley, Ismaila Ceesay, Momodou Fatty, Dodou Ceesay, Samba Kinteh, Mamudou Manneh, Nfamara Kuyateh, Fanta Darboe, Lamin Njie, Juguna Suso, Momodou L.K. Sanneh, Yaya Jammeh and Masanneh Lalo Jawla conspired to incite violence, which is an offence under the Law of The Gambia.
The case was then adjourned until 5th May 2016 for hearing.
Meanwhile, during the adoption of briefs on the bail application, DPP Barkun told the court the matter was slated for adoption of briefs.
The DPP then said his staff were trying to file the briefs and were constrained when it comes to time.
He said he was served on Wednesday, and he was asking for a stand down for 30 minutes so he could file.
Regarding the application they were telling the court about, Counsel Gaye said, the DPP was served on Tuesday and not Wednesday and, therefore, he should have filed it Wednesday and not Thursday.
DPP then told the court there was no need for a stand down as his briefs were ready and filed.
In adopting the applicant’s briefs, Counsel Gaye said he was applying to adopt the applicants briefs dated 21 April 2016 and filed on 26 April 2016.
He also urged the court to grant all the prayers in the motion and to grant and admit each and every applicant bail, adding that they would file the reply.
The DPP said they had filed their arguments dated and filed on 28 April 2016, and they intended to adopt same as their arguments in the matter and prayed that the application be refused.
The trial judge said the briefs had been adopted and the applicants’ reply on point of law was adopted, if same was filed and served.
The case was then adjourned until 5 May at 10 a.m. for ruling on bail application.