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Ex-Gambia College Lecturers Acquitted And Discharged

Jul 23, 2009, 6:27 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

After more than one year in legal battle, Lamin B.T. Sanyang and Abdoulie Baldeh, both former Lecturers at the Gambia College, who were standing trial for the offence of giving false information to a public officer, were on Thursday 16th July 2009, acquitted and discharged by Senior Magistrate Lamin George of the Banjul Magistrates' Court.

Their acquittal follows defence counsel Lamin Camara's 'no case to answer' submission.

In delivering his ruling, Magistrate Lamin George stated that the charge before the court was "giving false information to the Office of the President on 6th May 2008". 

He added that the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge, adding that the prosecution had called three witnesses and closed their case, while the accused persons had neither called witnesses nor given any evidence but opted to make 'no case to answer' submission.

He said the prosecution evidence was that the two accused persons gave false information to the Office of the President but had failed to disclose which public officer was confided with the information.

Magistrate George further asserted that the absence of the evidence to show that the alleged false information was given to a public officer was "total" to their case.

"Also, the core of the prosecution's case rested on the alleged false information as contained in a petition letter, which the said petition letter was rejected in evidence. 

"Essential and material elements of the offence charge in this case is missing and these make the prosecution's case weak; 'no prima facie has been made out against the accused persons,' he stated.

Magistrate George therefore said it was unsafe and unreliable to convict on weak evidence, and thereby acquitted and discharged the two accused persons.